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Date of Birth:
September 29, 1547

Date of Death:
23 April 1616

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Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. Cervantes is one of the most important and influential people in literature and his magnum opus, Don Quixote, is considered a founding classic of Western literature and regularly figures among the best novels ever written. His work is considered among the most important in all of literature. He has been dubbed el Príncipe de los Ingenios .

Cervantes, born at Alcalá de Henares, was the fourth of seven children, of Rodrigo de Cervantes, a doctor born at Alcalá de Henares in a family whose origins may have been of the minor gentry, and wife, married in 1543, Leonor de Cortinas, who died on October 19, 1593. The family moved from town to town, and little is known of Cervantes's early years. By 1570 he had been enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by pirates. He was ransomed by his captors and the Trinitarians and returned to his family in Madrid.

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