Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is Born

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 29 September 1547 – 23 April 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright.

His magnum opus Don Quixote, often considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His work is often considered amongst the most important works in all of Western literature. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that Spanish is often called la lengua de Cervantes, Spanish for the language of Cervantes. He has been dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios – The Prince of Wits.

Cervantes led an adventurous life and achieved much popular success, but he nevertheless struggled financially throughout his life. Little is know about his childhood, except that he was a favorite student of Madrid humanist Juan Lopez, and that his father was an apothecary.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra lived an unsettled life of hardship and adventure. He was born in Alcalá de Henares, a small town near Madrid, into a family of the minor nobility. His mother was Leonor de Cortinas; she gave birth to seven children, Cervantes was the fourth. Rodrigo de Cervantes, his father, was an apothecary-surgeon. It has been argued that the family members were of converso origin, Jews who had converted to Christianity. Jews also appear as characters in several of Cervantes' plays and novelas.