During his life John William De Forest (1826-1903) failed to achieve the popularity that matched his critical status, a situation that persists over a century after his death. Born in Connecticut, he contacted typhoid fever when he was eight. As a result he suffered from a chronic bronchial condition that impeded his formal education but led to travels for his health in the Middle East and Europe which continued until he was twenty one years old. (In a letter to his mother in l846, he claimed that smoking a Turkish water pipe relieved his bronchial condition.) He had already read widely in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Latin literature. He returned to Connecticut for three years during which time he wrote A History of the …
Levin, James . "John W. De Forest". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 October 2010; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1179, accessed 26 April 2015.]