Gibran, Khalil(1883–1931) poet, painter, novelist; born in Bechari, Lebanon (now Syria). His mother emigrated to the United States in 1894 and settled in Boston. He traveled to Lebanon to study with the Maronite (Christian) clergy (1897–99), then returned to Boston, where he was befriended by Mary Haskell, a wealthy patroness of the arts. After studying art in Paris, he settled in New York City, where he painted, sculpted, and wrote plays and poetry in Arabic and English. His best-known book, The Prophet (1923), attracted only modest attention during his lifetime but later became an inspirational classic. Poetic and mystical, his work conveyed a longing to transcend the human condition.