Born as a son of a farmer family, he began to attend Latin Gymnasium at Ožďany and from 1843 Evangelical lyceum at Levoča, where he wrote his first literal works. From 1853 he has been engaged as land surveyor in different towns throughout the Slovakia, Zvolen, Martin and Banská Štiavnica. In 1861 he wrote one of his most important ballads, Smrť Jánošíkova /Death of Jánošík/. He was the youngest member of writers, poets and politicians of * Štúr generation. Together with Samo Chalupką, Andrej Sládkovič and Janko Kráľ he belongs to the most important poets of Slovak romanticism.
In Vyšný Skálnik is his museum, statue and a memory plaque.