Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, just before the turn of the century, as a boy Horace Gregory was severely afflicted with TB of the spine, which left him partially paralyzed. The Gregorys were a highly literate, if eccentric, family; his father, who had only two years of formal schooling, taught himself Latin by reading textbooks, and his uncle, editor in chief of the Evening Wisconsin, was know for his recitation of popular poetry. His aunt Victoria was also an influence, taking Gregory regularly to poetry recitals by famous poets including Carl Sandburg. Determined to succeed as a writer, Gregory moved to New York City in 1923. In 1930, Gregory published Chelsea Rooming House, his first book of poetry. Focusing on those individuals defeated by capitalism and greed, Chelsea Rooming House champions society’s down-trodden. In 1964 Gregory brought together his favorite works from six previous volumes and published them as Collected Poems. The collection was high praised by critics.