T. S. Eliot Attends Smith Academy

From 1898 to 1905, Eliot attended Smith Academy, where he studied Latin, Ancient Greek, French, and German.

He began to write poetry when he was 14 under the influence of Edward Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a translation of the poetry of Omar Khayyam, though he said the results were gloomy and despairing, and he destroyed them. The first poem that he showed anyone was written as a school exercise when he was 15, and was published in the Smith Academy Record, and later in The Harvard Advocate, Harvard University's student magazine.

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born September 26, 1888, into a family who traced its ancestry to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His predecessors were prominent clergymen and educators and included Charles William Eliot, president of Harvard University, and three U.S. presidents, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Rutherford B. Hayes. Eliot grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where his grandfather had relocated the family from Boston. William Greenleaf Eliot was a Unitarian minister and educator and established the first Unitarian church in St. Louis as well as founded Smith Academy and Washington University. T. S. Eliot was educated first at Smith Academy and then sent back to Massachusetts for further studies.