Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. He had a difficult childhood working on the rails, mending fences, and other back-breaking work.
His hard upbringing changed when he married Mary Todd. His career also began to blossom. He was a notable lawyer, and soon made a name for himself in politics. Lincoln became the 16th president of the United States in 1861. In 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Tragedy struck on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, when John Wilkes Booth shot and killed Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.