Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
O. Henry (1862-1910) was an American short story writer. Born and raised in North Carolina, O. Henry--whose real name was William Sydney Porter--moved to Texas in 1882 in search of work. He met and married Athol Estes in Austin, where he became well known as a musician and socialite. In 1888, Athol gave birth to a son who died soon after, and in 1889 a daughter named Margaret was born. Porter began working as a teller and bookkeeper at the First National Bank of Austin in 1890 and was fired four years later and accused of embezzlement. Afterward, he began publishing a satirical weekly called The Rolling Stone, but in 1895 he was arrested in Houston following an audit of his former employer. While waiting to stand trial, Henry fled to Honduras, where he lived for six months before returning to Texas to surrender himself upon hearing of Athol's declining health. She died in July of 1897 from tuberculosis, and Porter served three years at the Ohio Penitentiary before moving to Pittsburgh to care for his daughter. While in prison, he began publishing stories under the pseudonym "O. Henry," finding some success and launching a career that would blossom upon his release with such short stories as "The Gift of the Magi" (1905) and "The Ransom of Red Chief" (1907). He is recognized as one of America's leading writers of short fiction, and the annual O. Henry Award--which has been won by such writers as William Faulkner, John Updike, and Eudora Welty--remains one of America's most prestigious literary prizes.