Professional cynic, Civil War veteran, and prolific writer Ambrose Bierce—best known for the Devil's Dictionary with its unique definitions ("SENATE, n. A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanors") and the famous twist ending of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" (1890)—was born today in Ohio in 1842. He disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1913 while attempting to locate Mexican bandit Pancho Villa. Gregory Peck played Bierce in Old Gringo (1989).
About the photo: Ambrose Bierce, date unknown. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.