Amos Bronson Alcott was born into a poor farming family in Wolcott, Connecticut on Nov 29, 1799. He educated himself, and soon after began thinking about how to revolutionize the practice of education.
Marcel Proust was born on July 10th, 1871 in Auteuil, France, a suburb of Paris. His father, a doctor well known for his work in epidermiology, was married to a stockbroker's daughter of Jewish descent. Marcel was sick from the time he was born, and from the age of nine began suffering from severe asthma, which harmed his chances for a conventional professional career.