José María Balbino Venancio Samper Agudelo (31 March 1828 — 22 July 1888) was a Colombian a liberal political thinker and writer, he also worked as a journalist, lawyer, and politician. In his writing he covered many genres including poetry, drama, comedy, novels, didactic works, biographies, travel books, and critical and historical essays. He collaborated in different periodicals of his time, was Founder of La Revista Americana, Editor of El Deber, and Director of El Comercio of Lima.
José María was born on 31 March 1828 to José María Samper Blanco and Tomasa Agudelo y Tafur, in Honda when it was part of the Department of Cundinamarca, now present-day Tolima. Among his siblings, two stand out, Agripina, who was married to Manuel Ancízar, and his older brother Miguel, a businessman and politician and the great-grandfather of Ernesto Samper Pizano. He married Elvira Levi Espina in 1851, but she died soon after in 1852 leaving no children. On 5 May 1855 he married Soledad Acosta Kemble, a renowned writer and journalist, and together they had four daughters, Bertilda, who become a nun, and took up poetry like her parents, Carolina (b. 1857) and María Josefa (b.