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Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937) was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and only published in 'pulp' magazines before he died in poverty, he is now widely seen as one of the most significant 20th century authors in his genre. In high school Lovecraft found his contemporaries were accepting and he formed friendships. He also involved neighborhood children in elaborate make-believe projects, only regretfully ceasing the activity at 17 years old. Despite leaving school in 1908 without graduating - he found mathematics particularly difficult - Lovecraft's knowledge of subjects that interested him was formidable. Throughout his life, selling stories and paid literary work for others did not provide enough to cover Lovecraft's basic expenses. Living frugally, he subsisted on an inheritance that had almost gone in his last years, by which time he sometimes went without food to afford the cost of mailing letters.18 He was forced to move to smaller and meaner lodgings with his surviving aunt. He was also deeply affected by the suicide of his correspondent Robert E. Howard. In 1936, Lovecraft was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine,19 and as a result he suffered from malnutrition. He lived in constant pain until his death on March 15, 1937, in Providence. In accordance with his lifelong scientific curiosity, he kept a diary of his illness until close to the moment of his death. Lovecraft was listed along with his parents on the Phillips family monument. That was not enough for his fans, who in 1977 raised the money to buy him a headstone of his own inSwan Point Cemetery, on which they had inscribed Lovecraft's name, the dates of his birth and death, and the phrase "I AM PROVIDENCE," a line from one of his personal letters.