William Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest English writer and poet to have ever lived. He wrote 38 plays for the theater and 154 sonnets. A sonnet is a rhyming poem with 14 lines. His works have been translated into every major language and are still performed more than those of any other playwrights. What's more, about 1,700 common English words were actually created by Shakespeare. There are also countless idioms, phrases, and figuresof speech credited to this amazing wordsmith. Compared with most famous people, very little is known about Shakespeare's private life. We do know that he was born in a small English town called Stratford-upon-Avon sometime in 1564. Many historians think his birthday was possibly April 23. There are no records of him ever going to school, but he probably did go to King's New School in his home town. He got married when he was 18 and had three children. Practically nothing is known about the next 10 years of his life, however. When he was 28, his family moved to London. Shakespeare then started to work as an actor in a theater company. He also started to write plays in which he sometimes acted. His plays were very popular and Shakespeare soon became wealthy enough to build his own theater.