Biograph of William Sydney Porter.

Essay by CneberHigh School, 11th gradeA+, August 2003

download word file, 2 pages 4.6

On September 11, 1862, William Sydney Porter was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. He spent his childhood with his grandmother in Greensboro. At the age of three Williams mother, Mary Jane Porter, died. After she died Williams father occupied his time with drinking, and left William to be cared for by his grandmother. While growing up William received very little formal education. For a couple of years he attended the school of his aunt Lina. During this time is when he discovered his love for books. ( "By the age of nineteen, William had read a variety of books that would later influence his literary works." (Winborn)

As soon as William was able to work, he got a job at his uncle's pharmacy. In 1881 he became a licensed pharmacist, but remained working under his uncle. When William was about twenty years old he moved temporarily to Texas for health reasons.

There he stayed with some friends of the family on a sheep ranch, where William learned about ranch life that he writes about later on in his life. A couple years later he moved to Austin, Texas and stayed with the Harrell family. While living in Austin with this family he received his pen name O. Henry. The name came about because of the family cat named, Henry. After going through many jobs he finally landed a job as a draftsman in the General Land Office that was run by Richard Hall, the old family friend he lived with when he first moved to Texas. When Richards term at the Land office was over William had to find another job. William eloped and married Athol Estes. A year later they had a baby boy who died a couple hours after his birth. In 1889 William and Athol were...