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There are many Missouri historical facts about its famous citizens. What most don't know about Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri, is that his literary career was not a straight path to fame but rather a meandering one like the Mississippi River he loved. He started out as a printer's apprentice for the Missouri Courier before moving on to writing for Iowa's Saturday Post. What he did next is what is so surprising. He traded being a writer for being a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River. And fans of his literature are thankful that he did, for it was after this stint that he went on to writing novels centered around life on the Mississippi, the classics Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.