Porter, William Sydney

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Porter, William Sydney:

see O. HenryO. Henry,
pseud. of William Sydney Porter,
1862–1910, American short-story writer, b. Greensboro, N.C. He went to Texas in 1882 and worked at various jobs—as teller in an Austin bank (1891–94) and as a newspaperman for the Houston Post.
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Porter, William Sydney (originally Sidney) (O. Henry, Oliver Henry, S. H. Peters, pen names)

(1862–1910) writer; born in Greensboro, N.C. He was schooled in Greensboro and worked in a drug store there (c. 1877–82). He held a variety of other jobs, such as ranch worker (1882–84), bookkeeper and draftsman (1884–91), and bank teller (1891–94) in Texas. He was a journalist and owner of a weekly newspaper, Rolling Stone, in Austin, Texas, but in 1896 he fled to Honduras to escape charges he had embezzled money from the bank he had worked in. He returned when he learned his wife was seriously ill; convicted (1897), he was imprisoned at Ohio State Penitentiary (1898–1901) where he began to write short stories. Upon his release he settled in New York City. Writing about little incidents in the lives of ordinary people, he became known for his sentimental stories with ironic endings, such as "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Furnished Room." Originally published in magazines, his stories were regularly collected in a series of highly successful volumes (1904–17).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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