Profile of the Day: O. Henry

Posted September 11, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: O. Henry

O. Henry

Have you read “The Gift of the Magi”? On this day in 1862, author O. Henry was born. His comedic and ironic stories, often with surprised endings, made Henry one of the most popular short story writers of his time.

He was born William Sidney Porter on September 11, 1862 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Before he began his career as a writer, Porter held a variety of jobs. At 15, he began working at his uncle’s drug store and by 19, he was a licensed pharmacist. In 1882, he traveled to Texas where he worked on a ranch and later at the First National Bank in Austin. In 1896, Porter was charged with embezzlement. He fled to Honduras, where he befriended the notorious train robber Al Jennings. Jennings would later write a book about their friendship. He returned to the U.S. after 6 months when he learned his wife was seriously ill. Upon his return, he was charged and convicted of embezzlement. His wife died several months later.

During his time in prison, Porter published several stories and adopted the pseudonym, O. Henry. After his release, Porter continued to write and became one of the most popular short story writers in the country. His most famous story, “The Gift of the Magi,” continues to be read and adapted today.

Explore O. Henry’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related to the American author.

View O. Henry’s Geni Profile


Image: New York Public Library

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

See all posts by