Perhaps best remembered for his influential and controversial role in the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692, this Puritan cleric is also known for his numerous pamphlets and published sermons. His most famous works include Wonders of the Invisible World, Pillars of Salt, and Magnalia Christi Americana.
After studying at the Boston Latin School, he graduated from Harvard College and subsequently became an assistant minister at his father's Massachusetts church.
At the height of the New England smallpox epidemic, Mather challenged his Puritan contemporaries' religious objections to inoculation and became an outspoken proponent of the practice.
He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Maria Cotton (the daughter of clergyman John Cotton) and prominent Puritan minister and writer Increase Mather.
His father, Increase Mather, was also involved in the Salem Witch Trials.