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Samuel Clemens and His Cigars

Samuel Clemens, AKA Mark Twain, found his muse in great plumes of cigar smoke.
Alejandro Benes
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Winter 95/96

(continued from page 5)

Clemens' cigars so offended others that a reporter for the New York World was mystified by the "long, black, deadly-looking cigars" that Clemens smoked during an interview in 1902. "Their mere appearance compels comment," the reporter wrote. "You express surprise that the first one was not guilty of murder."

Two years before his death in 1910, Clemens "had an undisguised attack of angina pectoris," writes biographer Kaplan. "He said it was 'tobacco heart' and he tried to cut down his cigars from forty to four a day."

Yet Samuel Langhorne Clemens—Mark Twain—lived to 74, and was, by his own report, always in excellent health. Through-out his life, cigars were his muse, his comfort and his constant companion. It was in smoking a cigar that he found "the best of all inspirations."

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