Fernando Pessoa is considered Portugal's greatest contemporary writer. He was born Fernando Antònio Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa in Lisbon on June 13, 1888. He died on November 30, 1935, in the same city at the early age of 47. Pessoa was a brilliant student, but due to difficult personal and political circumstances that ensued, he dropped out of the university not long after his seventeenth birthday and began to study on his own. He went to the National Library of Lisbon, where he systematically read major works of philosophy, theology, history, sociology and, of course, literature, especially Portuguese literature. Pessoa was solitary by nature, having a limited social life and virtually no love life. He was, however, an active leader of Portugal's Modernist movement in the early 1900s. Pessoa was able to support himself financially as a commercial correspondent by writing letters in English and French for Portuguese companies that had business dealings abroad.