Horatio Alger was born on January 13, 1834 in Chelsea, Massachusettes. Alger began writing in earnest and being a published author at the age of 17. After graduating from Harvard, Alger obtained a position in ministry in a Unitarian Church, but was dismissed on scandalous and incriminating charges. Around 1866, Alger moved to New York, a time that marked the beginning of a very successful writing career. Around this time, the Ragged Dick series was being published as a serial, and in 1868 it was published as a complete novel. In New York City, Alger took a special and personal interest in the street children and became a frequent visitor to their popular haunts. Perhaps this is what gave him a clear insight into their trials and tribulations and aided in creating the simple yet timeless story of Ragged Dick. Eventually, Alger took two street children into his home and informally adopted them.