Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: Carl (August) Sandburg, Militant, Jack Philips, Charles Sandburg, Charles A. Sandburg, and Carl Sandberg

Genre: C:ADULT Poetry

Born: January 6, 1878 in Galesburg, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Sandburg was born and raised in Galesburg. His ashes are buried beneath ''Remembrance Rock'' at his birth home - the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site. This site was dedicated as a Literary Landmark on April 25, 2015.

Biographical and Professional Information

Carl Sandburg was born Carl August Sandburg. His parents were Swedish immigrants, and his family was so poor that when he finished eighth grade he went to work full time. Sandburg spent many years traveling around the American West working at a wide variety of jobs, including bootblack, harvester, hotel dishwasher, and newspaper reporter. After fighting in the Spanish-American War, he went to Lombard College in his hometown. Although he did very well, he did not take his final exams and returned to being a hobo for several more years. At age 30, he settled down and put his years of traveling and learning American folksongs and stories to good use in this writing. One of America's best-loved poets, Sandburg was also a popular folklorist and a biographer of Lincoln. He is also famous for his book, ''Rootabaga Stories'', written for his daughters. His Abraham Lincoln biography has come to be considered an American epic. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln. Sandburg also served as Illinois' second Poet Laureate from 1962 until his death in 1967.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- '''''Cornhuskers''''' -- *Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1919


-- """Other Awards and Honors"""

-- *Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2011