Francis Scott Key

1779 - 1843

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Francis Scott Key (August 1, 1779 – January 11, 1843) was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Frederick, Maryland, who is best known for writing the lyrics for the American national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner".Key observed the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814 during the War of 1812. He was inspired upon seeing the American flag still flying over the fort at dawn and wrote the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry"; it was published within a week with the suggested tune of the popular song "To Anacreon in Heaven". The song with Key's lyrics became known as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and slowly gained in popularity as an unofficial anthem, finally achieving official status more than a century later under President Herbert Hoover as the national anthem. Key was a lawyer in Maryland and Washington D.C. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Francis Scott Key has received more than 2,324,112 page views. His biography is available in 30 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 28 in 2019). Francis Scott Key is the 3,636th most popular writer (down from 3,272nd in 2019), the 4,861st most popular biography from United States (down from 4,111th in 2019) and the 420th most popular American Writer.

Memorability Metrics

  • 2.3M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 60.88

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 30

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 1.53

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.84

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

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Among writers, Francis Scott Key ranks 3,636 out of 5,794Before him are Robert Jungk, Antun Gustav Matoš, Anne Bradstreet, Richard Hakluyt, Orhan Kemal, and Tariq Ali. After him are D. R. Bendre, Connie Willis, Millosh Gjergj Nikolla, Blaga Dimitrova, Bahram Beyzai, and Innokenty Annensky.

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Among people born in 1779, Francis Scott Key ranks 23Before him are Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Archduke Anton Victor of Austria, Adam Müller, Infanta María Amalia of Spain, Ali-Morad Khan Zand, and Filippo Paulucci. After him are Johann Schweigger, Joel Roberts Poinsett, Augustin Saint-Hilaire, Louis de Freycinet, Peter Mark Roget, and Stephen Decatur. Among people deceased in 1843, Francis Scott Key ranks 23Before him are John Biscoe, Ippolito Rosellini, Miguel Ricardo de Álava, Casimir Delavigne, John Trumbull, and Sylvestre François Lacroix. After him are Kazim Rashti, Domingo Caycedo, Friedrich von Adelung, John Armstrong Jr., Washington Allston, and Josep Bonaplata i Corriol.

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In United States

Among people born in United States, Francis Scott Key ranks 4,861 out of 15,968Before him are Maclyn McCarty (1911), Fred Thompson (1942), Steve Zahn (1967), Ann Curtis (1926), Joan Blondell (1906), and Merle Haggard (1937). After him are Mark Pellegrino (1965), Connie Willis (1945), Jim Croce (1943), Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841), Embeth Davidtz (1965), and Jill Biden (1951).

Among WRITERS In United States

Among writers born in United States, Francis Scott Key ranks 420Before him are Marianne Moore (1887), Dennis Lehane (1965), Robert Richardson (1955), Zane Grey (1872), Jonathan Littell (1967), and Joss Whedon (1964). After him are Connie Willis (1945), Edmund Wilson (1895), Sidney Howard (1891), Chaim Potok (1929), Seymour Hersh (1937), and Katherine Anne Porter (1890).