Margaret Worth Porter (1889 - 1927)

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Birthplace: Austin, Travis, Texas, United States
Death: Died in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of death: Tuberculosis
Managed by: Erica Howton, (c)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Margaret Worth Porter

Margaret Worth Porter was O. Henry's only child. She was born on 9/30/1889, in Austin, Texas.

She was only seven when her mother died of tuberculosis. Less than a year later, her father was sent to jail and she was taken care of by her maternal grandparents. She was told he was travelling for business. She only found out he had been in jail after his death. They eventually moved from Austin, TX to Pittsburgh, PA.

During the three years he was in jail, O. Henry wrote to his daughter frequently, and she wrote back to him. Some of their letters can be found online:

Margaret was nearly twelve when her father was released from jail and came back to live with them in Pittsburgh, PA, on July 24, 1901.

Less than a year later, O. Henry was offered a contract to write one story per week for the New York World and he moved to NYC.

O. Henry resented the fact that he never had a chance to attend college. He made sure he gave the opportunity to his daughter, by regularly sending money to pay for her college.

Margaret attended Princeton University. She had a short writing career, from 1913 to 1916.

In July, 1916, she married the famous NYC cartoonist, Oscar Cesare. They divorced four years later, and she eventually moved to California and married A. J. Sartin in 1927. She died of tuberculosis three days after her wedding.

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Margaret Porter's Timeline

September 30, 1889
Austin, Travis, Texas, United States
July, 1916
Age 26
New York, New York, New York, United States
Age 30
Age 37
California, United States
Age 37
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
Age 37
Asheville, Buncombe, North Carolina, United States