Very little is known about the man, whom the ancients claim to have written the epic poems the Illiad and Odyssey, as well as the lesser known Margites and Batrachomyomachia.
The ancient sources were not even sure about when he lived. Herodotus claims he lived circa 850 BC. Most modern authorities date the poems to have been written towards the end of the seventh century BC.
Many cities claimed to be the birthplace of Homer, the two most plausible being Smyrna or Chios. The one thing all ancient sources agree on is that he was a blind, impoverished, wandering bard, who died on the island of Ios.
Oxford Concise Companion to Classical Literature. ed. Howatson and Chilvers. Oxford. New York, 1993.