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James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 – September 14, 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, often regarded as his masterpiece.

James Fenimore Cooper was born in Burlington, New Jersey, the son of William and Elizabeth (Fenimore) Cooper. His father was a United States Congressman. Shortly after his first birthday, his family moved to Cooperstown, New York, a community founded by his father.

At 13, Cooper was enrolled at Yale, but he did not obtain a degree due to being expelled. His expulsion stemmed from a dangerous prank that involved him blowing up another student's door. Another less dangerous prank consisted of training a donkey to sit in a professor's chair. He obtained work as a sailor on a merchant vessel, and at 18, joined the United States Navy. He obtained the rank of midshipman before leaving in 1811.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "James Fenimore Cooper."
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