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Great-granddaughter of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow dies at 94

Oct. 15, 2013 at 1:55 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Anne Longfellow Dickinson, a descendant of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, possibly the best-known poet in the 19th-century United States, has died. She was 94.

Dickinson, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died Monday at an assisted living facility in Northbrook, Ill., the Chicago Tribune reported.

A great-granddaughter of Longfellow, Dickinson grew up in Cambridge, Mass., where the poet, a native of Portland, Maine, spent the last 40 years of his life. She moved to the Chicago area after her marriage to William R. Dickinson Jr., a lawyer, and lived in Evanston.

Amy Dickinson, her daughter, said Dickinson was modest about her ancestry.

"She was a very modest and unassuming woman who didn't talk much about that," said her daughter. "Of course, we were proud of our family's heritage, and as children we made numerous trips out to Boston. My mother loved reading to us all the wonderful poems written by my great-great-grandfather ."

Dickinson dropped out of Radcliffe College, where she studied music, to work in a factory during World War II. As an adult, she played the double bassoon in local orchestras in the Chicago suburbs.

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