"FRANCIS SCOTT KEY was born in Frederick County, Maryland, August 1, 1779. His father, John Ross Key, an officer in the army in the Revolutionary war, was a descendant from some of the earliest settlers of the province.
The son was educated at St. John's College, Annapolis, and, after completing his course, studied law with his uncle, Philip B[arton] Key, at Annapolis, and, in 1801, commenced the practice of the profession at Fredericktown, in his native county. Some years after he removed to Washington [D.C.], where he became District Attorney of the city, and there remained until his death, January 11, 1843.
Mr. Key was the author, in addition to the Star-Spangled Banner, of a few other songs and devotional pieces. His poems were written without any view to publication, on some passing topic for his own and the gratification of his friends. They were noted down on odd scraps of appear, backs of letters, &c., a piece of several verses being often on as many separate slips of paper, and were seldom revised by the author." [Evert A. & George L. Duyckinck, 1 The Cyclopedia of American Literature 692 (Philadelphia: William Rutter & Co., 1880) (2 vols.)]
Key died in 1843. His poetry was collected and edited, after his death by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.