According to Britannica, Edwin Thomas Booth was born on November 13, 1833. His father, Junius Brutus Booth, was also a popular actor, considered by some to be the greatest Shakespearean actor of his day. Though his father was a brilliant and talented man, he, like many artists, was a bit of a tortured soul. Junius also struggled with alcoholism, disturbing and dark thoughts, and even attempted to kill himself following the death of one of his sons. As such, Edwin began caring for his father while he was on tour, to ensure that he remained sober whenever he stepped on stage. Edwin was only 12 at the time (per History).

Edwin Booth had nine other siblings. While some did not make it to adulthood, some of those who did left their mark on history as well. His oldest brother, Junius Booth Jr., was also an actor, though he did not cultivate the kind of admiration as his brothers or father. Edwin also had a sister, Asia Booth (Clarke), who wrote biographies of her brother Edwin and her father in an attempt to restore their family legacy after President Lincoln’s murder by another brother, John Wilkes.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

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