Francis Scott Key was born in 1779 in Frederick, Maryland. He attended St. Johnís School in Annapolis, studying to become a lawyer. His close friend, who later became his brother-in-law, was Roger Brooke Taney. Francis married Mary Chase and they lived in Georgetown where he practiced law. During the War of 1812, Francis was sent by President Madison to help secure the release of an American Doctor who had be taken prisoner by the British. It was during that time that the bombardment of Fort McHenry took place. Francis was on board a British ship watching the bombs explode during the night. As the dawn broke he saw the American Flag still flying over the Fort and he wrote a poem about his experience. That poem later became our national anthem The Star Spangled Banner. Key died in 1843 at the age of 64.