H. P. Lovecraft
Howard Phillips Lovecraft died penniless.
He achieved worldwide fame for his work only after his death,
but is now regarded as one of the most influential authors of all time.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island (where he spent most of his life) H.P. Lovecraft was never able to financially support himself with his meager earnings as an author and editor.
He saw commercial success increasingly elude him and subsisted in progressively strained circumstances in his final years until the time that he died.
In early 1937 he was diagnosed with an aggressive strain of cancer of the small intestine and suffered from brutal malnutrition as a result.
He lived in constant agony until his death. But in accordance with his lifelong scientific curiosity he kept a diary of his illness until the moment he died on March 15, 1937.
Aged only 46.
In 1977 (40 years after his death) his fans erected a headstone in Swan Point Cemetery on which they inscribed the phrase I AM PROVIDENCE - a line from one of his personal letters.
Now, Cultists observe and celebrate the anniversaries of Lovecraft's birth and death as religious holidays.
H.P. Lovecraft was a man of posthumously celebrated genius that would never know of the effect that he would one day have on the world. He died poor and unacknowledged at a young age.
Yet today his name is synonymous with cosmic horror and brilliance in literature.
He would never know that his art would have such an impact on all facets of human culture, nor that his would become a household name.
He did not know that future generations would passionately enjoy, heatedly discuss, and ravenously imbibe in his life's work.
Perhaps there is nothing sadder than the story of the unrecognized artist who dies in poverty but, like Van Gogh before him, his story lives on…
The Cult of Cthulhu will ensure he lives forever.
Imagine working on something you love for your whole life and being at best ignored and at worst mocked. Then imagine being diagnosed with an aggressive strain of cancer that causes excruciating pain every time you eat.
Imagine slowly dying, poor and in pain, at the age of 46, the world apathetic to anything you ever did.
That is the reality that H. P. Lovecraft endured.