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Eliot was born into the Eliot family of St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843โ€“1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St. Louis; his mother, born Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843โ€“1929), wrote poems and was also a social worker. Eliot was the last of six surviving children; his parents were both 44 years old when he was born. His four sisters were between eleven and nineteen years older than he; his brother was eight years older. Known to family and friends as Tom, he was the namesake of his maternal grandfather Thomas Stearns. From 1898 to 1905 Eliot was a student at Smith Academy, a preparatory school for Washington University. At the academy, Eliot studied Latin, Greek, French, and German. Upon graduation he could have gone to Harvard University but his parents sent him to Milton Academy (in Milton, Massachusetts, near Boston) for a preparatory year. There he met Scofield Thayer, who would later publish The Waste Land. He studied at Harvard from 1906 to 1909, where he earned an A.B.. During this time he read Arthur Symons's The Symbolist Movement in Literature, where he first encountered Laforgue, Rimbaud, and Verlaine. The Harvard Advocate published some of his poems and he became lifelong friends with Conrad Aiken. The following year he earned a master's degree at Harvard. During the 1910โ€“1911 school year Eliot lived in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne and touring the continent. Returning t..

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