James Fenimore Cooper was born on September 15, 1789 in Burlington, New Jersey. He began his writing career after a wager with his wife and published his first book, Precaution, anonymously in 1820. His later series The Leatherstocking Tales (which includes The Last of the Mohicans) introduced the character Natty Bumppo. The books were hugely popular and have become American classics. Cooper died in 1851.
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