William Shakespeare, the greatest playwright of the English language, is OSF’s standard and inspiration.
He was baptized on April 26, 1564, in Stratford-on-Avon, a rural market town. His father was a town official and local businessman who dabbled in leatherwork; his mother, the daughter of a prosperous farmer. Shakespeare probably attended the King’s New School in Stratford, but he did not attend university. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582 and fathered three children.
Leaving his family in Stratford, Shakespeare went to London. The earliest reference to his presence in the London theatre community—an insult—was published in 1592. The final play wholly attributed to him, The Tempest, was first performed in 1611. Shakespeare died in Stratford at the age of 52. Thirty-five plays survive, of which he was the sole author.