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Edgar Allan Poe's astonishing talent secured him a number of jobs editing and writing for magazines and newspapers. Alas his equally astonishing inability to hold his liquor got him fired from each one.

Indeed, Poe looked so grim when he submitted "The Raven" to Graham's Magazine that the editors rejected the poem -- but took up a collection for him.

The amount collected? $15 -- more than the $10 which he later received for the poem from the New York Mirror!

[At 17, Poe enrolled in the University of Virginia. Within a day of his arrival, he had managed to gamble away his entire term's allowance and soon owed $2,500 in gambling debts. Moreover, Poe managed to stay drunk for the entire semester. Nonetheless, he aced his exams -- and earned the University's highest distinction.]

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