Thomas Stearns EliotOM (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965) was a British, American-born essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, and "one of the twentieth century's major poets". He immigrated to England in 1914 at age 25, settling, working and marrying there. He was eventually naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39, renouncing his American citizenship.
The Eliots were a Boston family with roots in Old and New England. Thomas Eliot's paternal grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot, had moved to St. Louis, Missouri to establish a Unitarian Christian church there. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St. Louis; his mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poetry and was a social worker, a new profession in the early twentieth century. Eliot was the last of six surviving children; his parents were both 44 years old when he was born. His four sisters were between eleven and nineteen years older; his brother was eight years older. Known to family and friends as Tom, he was the namesake of his maternal grandfather, Thomas Stearns.