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 O. Henry

O. Henry

Original Name William Sydney Porter
Birth
Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina, USA
Death 5 Jun 1910 (aged 47)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 772 · View Source
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Author. Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, the son of physician Algernon Sidney Porter. His mother died when Porter was three and he was placed in the care of his paternal grandmother. He left school at fifteen and began work in his uncle's pharmacy where he became a licensed pharmacist. He later moved to Houston, and then to Austin, Texas. After a series of jobs, in 1891 he became a teller with the First National Bank in Austin where he was charged with embezzling funds, a charge some still question. Leaving his wife and daughter, Porter fled to New Orleans, then to Honduras, but returned because of his wife's deteriorating health. She died shortly before Porter was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison. While in prison Porter started to write short stories to support his daughter Margaret. Using the pen name O. Henry, his story, ‘Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking’ appeared in McClure's Magazine in 1899, a dozen more stories followed. After serving three years he was released from prison in 1901. He moved to New York City in 1902 where he wrote a story a week for the New York World. His first collection, ‘Cabbages and Kings’ was published in 1904. The second, ‘The Four Million’, published two years later included the famous; ‘The Gift of the Magi’. The equally famous ‘The Ransom of Red Chief’, was included in ‘Whirligigs’ published in 1910. O. Henry published ten collections and over 600 short stories during his lifetime gaining worldwide acclaim as America's short story writer. Henry's last years were troubled by alcoholism, ill health, and financial problems. He died of cirrhosis of the liver in a New York hospital almost penniless. Today the O. Henry Awards are an annual recognition given to outstanding short stories, the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships are held each year in Austin, Texas hosted by the city's O. Henry Museum and a clever use of twist endings in any story is termed an ‘O. Henry Ending.’

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 772
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for O. Henry (11 Sep 1862–5 Jun 1910), Find A Grave Memorial no. 772, citing Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .