Khalil Gibran was born on January 6, 1883, in Northern Lebanon, a Turkish province that was part of Greater Syria.
His mother Kamila Rahmeh was thirty when she gave birth to
Khalil from her third husband Khalil Gibran, who proved to be an
irresponsible husband leading the family to poverty.
Gibran had a half-brother six years older than him called
Peter and two younger sisters, Mariana and Sultana, whom he was
deeply attached to throughout his life, along with his mother.
Growing up in the lush region of Bsharri, Gibran proved to be a
solitary and pensive child who relished the natural surroundings
of the cascading falls, the rugged cliffs and the neighboring
green cedars, the beauty of which emerged as a dramatic and
symbolic influence to his drawings and writings.
He did not receive any formal education or learning, which
was limited to regular visits to a village priest who taught him
the essentials of religion and the Bible, along with Syriac and
Recognizing Gibran's inquisitive and alert nature, the
priest began teaching him the rudiments of alphabet and language,
opening up to Gibran the world of history, science, and language.
the age of eight, Gibran's father was accused of tax evasion and
was sent to prison and the Ottomon authorities confiscated the
Gibrans' property and left them homeless.
The family went to live with relatives for a while;
however, the strong-willed mother decided that the family should
emigrate to the U.S., seeking a better life.
The father was released in 1894, but being an irresponsible
head of the family he was undecided about emigration and remained
behind in Lebanon.
June 25, 1895, the Gibrans embarked on a voyage to the American
shores of New York.
school, a registration mistake altered Gibranís name
forever by shortening (and misspelling) it to Kahlil Gibran, which
remained unchanged the rest of his life despite repeated attempts
at restoring his full name.
Gibran entered school on September 30, 1895, merely two
months after his arrival in the U.S. Having no formal education, he was placed in an ungraded
class reserved for immigrant children, who had to learn English
curiosity led him to the cultural side of Boston, which exposed him to the rich world of the theatre, opera and
Prodded by the cultural scenes around him and through his
artistic drawings, Gibran caught the attention of his teachers at
the public school, who saw an artistic future for the boy. They
contacted Fred Holland Day, an artist and a supporter of artists
who opened up Gibran's cultural world and set him on the road to
works were especially influential in the American popular culture
in the 1960s.
In 1904 Gibran had his first art exhibition in
From 1908 to 1910 he studied art in
with August Rodin.
In 1912 he settled in New York, where he devoted himself to writing and painting.
Gibran's early works were written in Arabic, and from 1918
he published mostly in English.
Gibran died in New York on April 10, 1931. Among his best-known works is The Prophet,
which has been translated into over 20 languages.
(adapted from Wikipedia)