Noah Webster (October 16, 1758 – May 28, 1843) was an American lexicographer, textbook author, spelling reformer, word enthusiast, and editor. He has been called the “Father of American Scholarship and Education.” His “Blue-Backed Speller” books were used to teach spelling and reading to five generations of American children. In the United States, his name has become synonymous with dictionaries, especially the modern Merriam-Webster dictionary that was first published in 1828 as An American Dictionary of the English Language.
Noah Webster was born on October 16, 1758, in the West Division of Hartford, Connecticut, to a family who had lived in Connecticut since colonial days. His father, Noah, Sr. (1722-1813), was a farmer and a sower. His father was a descendant of Connecticut Governor John Webster (governor); his mother, Mercy (née Steele; d. 1794), was a descendant of Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony. Noah had two brothers, Abraham (1751-1831) and Charles (b. 1762).
At the age of 16, Noah began attending Yale College. His four years at Yale overlapped the American Revolutionary War, and, because of food shortages, many of his college classes were held in Glastonbury, Connecticut. During the American Revolution, he served in the Connecticut Militia.