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What Did Edgar Allan Poe and Jerry Lee Lewis Have In Common?

At first glance, it is difficult to find two men who were seemingly more different than Edgar Allan Poe and Jerry Lee Lewis. Poe was a poet and writer, while Jerry Lee Lewis was/is a musician and singer. The differences don’t end there, either.

Poe was born in 1809 and lived 40 years. The cause of his death remains a mystery, aided by the fact that all of his medical records, including his death certificate, were lost. It was known that he used such substances as cocaine, but it is unclear if that had anything at all to do with his death.

Jerry Lee Lewis was born in 1935, almost 100 years after Poe’s death. He currently lives in Ferriday, Louisiana, so he obviously lived a lot longer than 40 years. In fact, he was still performing up until he suffered a stroke and had to cancel a 2019 tour. He is expected to fully recover. 

Aside from both being artists of one sort or another, what do these two men have in common?

When Poe was 26, he married Virginia Clemm. When Jerry Lee Lewis was 22, he married his third wife, Myrna Gale Brown. Some people might be thinking, “Big deal. They both got married when they were in their 20’s, so what?”

It is a big deal, though, and it is the connection. You see, Virginia Clemm was Edgar Allen Poe’s first cousin. Myrna Gale Brown was Jerry Lee Lewis’ first cousin. What’s more, when Poe married Virginia, she was 13-years-old. When Lewis married Brown, she was also 13-years-old.

This astounding connection has nothing at all to do with morals, legality, or anything of that sort. Before people rush to judgment on that, it should be remembered that Mary was about 14 when Jesus was born and Joseph was already an “old man”, probably in his 50’s, so making judgments about that part of it is out of place.

However, in both the case of Poe and Jerry Lee Lewis, both men married their 13-year-old first cousins. In both cases, it spurred a controversy. To be fair, it is extremely likely that many other men have married their 13-year-old first cousins, too, but both Edgar Allan Poe and Jerry Lee Lewis were both very well known at the time of their marriages.

This is rather curious, isn’t it?


What do you think?


Written by Rex Trulove

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    • Don’t confuse Jerry Lee Lewis with Jerry Lewis. The former is a singer and songwriter. The latter was a comedian who got his start as the sidekick of Dean Martin. Jerry Lee Lewis was the one that married his 13-year-old first cousin.

  1. I did not know that the late Edgar Allan Poe and Jerry Lewis were married to relatives of each other. I know that Mickey Gilley is Jerry Lee Lewis’ cousin as well as a minister who has a ministry in Baton Rouge.

      • I remember the minister from Baton Rouge who is remembered for his error in judgement when he was seen in a hotel room in Metairie LA in 1988 with a person who engages in the world’s oldest profession saying something to the effect that he was the one that did not engage in an entertainment industry that promoted unholy living.

        • That shows that ministers are people, too. Not one of us can claim to have never sinned or never had a lapse in judgment. We can all be forgiven. In the case of Poe and Jerry Lee, there is nothing in the Bible that forbids marrying a second cousin and nothing that goes against marrying a 13-year-old. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was 14 and was married. It is mankind who has made it illegal in most locations, though in some places, it still happens.

          Of course, that isn’t saying that I’d agree with marrying a 13-year-old first cousin. I have a personal bias against it. Granted, that is my own flawed thinking because the bible doesn’t forbid it. Then again, at the time of the birth of Jesus, the average lifespan of a man was about 42-47 years. Joseph was quite old when he married Mary. The average lifespan in the US for a man is now in the upper 70’s. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything. People are flawed and have notions and actions that don’t necessarily coincide with God’s. Most often, they don’t. Clearly, Mary was old enough to bear a child and it wouldn’t be by chance that God made it so girls who pass puberty can become pregnant.

          The minister did wrong and I’m assuming that he admitted to it. We aren’t the ones who can judge him. Each of us can only control one person; ourselves.

    • In terms of today, that is unthinkable and child abuse. However, it wasn’t all that long ago that any female who had passed through puberty was considered to be a woman and had the same rights and privileges as any other woman. In biblical times, a female who was 16 and unmarried was an ‘old maid’.

      • yes, there are a number of examples that still happen in our world today. It is an interesting problem, but the comparison of the two points out that the more things change on the surface, sometimes they are the same underneath.

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