Henry David Thoreau (born July 12, 1817, Concord, Massachusetts, U.S. – died May 6, 1862, Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.) was an American author, poet, essayist, and practical philosopher.
Although he was not a professional philosopher, Thoreau is recognized as an important contributor to the philosophical movement known as New England Transcendentalism. He was a lifelong abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, historian and vigorous advocate of civil liberties.
Thoreau is best known for his book Walden (1854) and his essay Resistance to Civil Government (1849). His overall work, including books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry, counts over 20 volumes.
Thoreau’s work and philosophy influenced the political thoughts and actions of many notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.