History of Pen PalsA Pen Pal relationship is often used to improve literacy, to learn more about other countries and life-styles, and to make friendships. As with any friendships in life, some people remain Pen Pals for only a short time, while others continue to exchange letters and presents for life. Some Pen Pen Pals eventually arrange to meet face to face; sometimes leading to serious relationships, or even marriage.
Pals come in all ages, nationalities and cultures. Pals may seek new pen friends based on their own age group, a specific occupation, hobby, or select someone totally different from them to gain knowledge about the world around them.
Some Famous Pen Pals
Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln exchanged letters at the end of the Civil War, with Marx writing on behalf of the International Working Men’s Association. Although they were divided by far more than the Atlantic Ocean, they agreed on the urgency of suppressing slavery and the cause of “free labor.”
One day in 1961 Groucho Marx received in the mail a note from none other than T.S. Eliot himself. Expressing his admiration for the comedian, Eliot asked him for an autographed portrait. A shocked Groucho sent back a studio photograph of himself, only to receive a second note from the icon of modern poetry requesting instead a picture of the iconic Groucho, sporting a moustache and holding a cigar. A second photograph was sent out and a happy Eliot wrote to thank Groucho: “This is to let you know that your portrait has arrived and has given me great joy and will soon appear in its frame on my wall with other famous friends.