Francis Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) was born in Arezzo (1304). He was an Italian scholar, poet, and humanist, famous for his poems dedicated to Laura, an idealized beloved. They met each other in Avignon, but that's all what they know.
As a scholar and poet, Petrarch soon grew famous, in 1341 he was crowned as a poet laureate in Rome. 
Petrarch's most important works are:
  • Philologia (1326)
  • Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (1336-1338)
  • De viris illustribus (1338)
  • Canzoniere [366 poems for Laura]
  • Bucolicum carmen (1345-47)
  • Vita solitaria (1345-47)
His writings influenced many known figures his lifetime, such as Boccaccio to write his own great works and Shakespeare, who studied his works and copied his sonnets.
Petrarch lived through the hardest years of the plague and lost nearly everyone he knew to it. His mother and father had died, his son, his grandson, numerous friends, and of course Laura, for which his writings of her will live on forever, all died as victims of the disease.

Sadlon, Peter. "Francesto Petrarch and Laura De Noves." Francesco Petrarch - Father of Humanism. 10 Sept. 2007. Web. 23 May 2011. <>.