Skip navigation
Noah Webster
Noah Webster
American, 1758 - 1843
Biography: Noah Webster was born 16 October 1758 in the West Division of Hartford, Connecticut, which later became West Hartford. He had four siblings. Noah Webster graduated from Yale College in 1778. He taught school in Glastonbury, Hartford, and West Hartford, Connecticut, and later, he studied law. Noah Webster worked to improve American education by writing an American textbook from which children could learn: he wrote A Grammatical Institute of the English Language in 1783. Noah Webster married Rebecca Greenleaf in 1789; they had eight children. They lived in New Haven, Connecticut, then in Amherst, Massachusetts. In Amherst, Webster helped found Amherst College. Eventually, the family moved to West Hartford, Connecticut. At age 43, Webster began writing the first American dictionary, in order to standardize American spelling, pronunciation, and word usage. After 27 years, the dictionary was completed in 1828; it contained 70,000 words. Noah Webster died in 1843.