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Profile of the Day: Miguel de Cervantes

Remember reading Don Quixote? Author Miguel de Cervantes is believed to have been born on this day in 1547.

Image: Miguel de Cervantes / Wikimedia Commons

Although not many details are known about the early years of his life, Cervantes was known to have lived an adventurous one. He enlisted in the Spanish Navy and fought in the Battle of Lepanto, where he was injured after taking three gun shots, two to the chest and one to his left arm. In 1575, Cervantes was captured by Barbary pirates as he set sail to Barcelona. He was held captive for five years before he was ransomed and returned to Spain. It was during his captivity that he began writing.

When Don Quixote was first published in 1605, it became a huge success and earned Cervantes a great deal of praise. Today the novel is considered one of the greatest works of fiction ever written.

Cervantes died on April 22, 1616 and was buried, according to his will, in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid, Spain. In 1673, his bones were lost while work was being done at the convent. It wasn’t until 2015 that his remains were finally rediscovered in a crypt at the convent.

Explore Miguel de Cervantes’s family tree on Geni and share your connection to the Spanish author.

View Miguel de Cervantes’s Geni Profile

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