The Early Years
His academic career did not have a very promising start. Johnson was born as the son of a bookseller in Lichfield, England on September 18, 1709. After attending Lichfield Grammar School, he attended Pembroke College in Oxford. But within 13 months he had to leave the college without a degree, because his parents could not pay the school fees anymore.
To make a living, Johnson started to work as a teacher and even tried to establish his own school. The most important result of this project was his long lasting friendship with David Garrick, who would become one of the most famous actors of his time.