The great Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko was born on August 27, 1856 in the village of Naguievychi in the Lviv region.
His father was a blacksmith. Ivan was a gifted child. At school Ivan Franko learned Russian, German and Polish. He read Pushkin, Turgenev, Schiller, Goethe and Mickiewicz in original. The first poems of Ivan Franko were published in 1874 in the students' magazine "Friend". In 1875 Ivan Franko entered Lviv University. He graduated from Chernivtsi University in 1891. In his stories, poems and plays Ivan Franko wrote about real people whom he knew. In 1882 he wrote the novel "Boryslav is Laughing" and the historical novel "Zakhar Berkut". He worked under the most difficult conditions. He was imprisoned three times(1777-78, 1880, 1889).
In 1893 I. Franko obtained a doctorate at Vienna University and applied for a chair at Lviv University but his application was turned down. In 1894-97 he together with his wife Olga Fedorivna edited a magazine "Life and Word". Olga Franko (Khoruzhynska) (1864-1941) published her studies " Carpathian Boikoes and their Family Life".
In 1906 Ivan Franko became the Honorary Doctor of the Russian language and literature at Kharkiv University. He was awarded this title for his work "Studies on Ukrainian Folk Songs".
Ivan Franko was the most outstanding poet in the post-Shevchenko period of Ukrainian literature. His works are read and translated all over the world. They have been published in 19 languages totaling nine million copies.
Ivan Franko died on May 25,1906 in Lviv. Today the memory of the great classic of Ukrainian literature is honoured by his countrymen through our land.
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