O. Henry

O. Henry is a pseudonym used by WIlliam Sydney Poter.

William Sydney Porter (O. Henry):

Born: September 11, 1862, Greensboro, North Carolina

Died: June 5, 1910, New York City, United States of America

O. Henry was an American writer known primarily for his short stories, though he also wrote poetry and non-fiction. 

“O. Henry” is his pen name. His real name is William Sydney Porter; surprise endings official signature is Sydney Porter. He was born 1862 Greensboro, North Carolina.

His stories expressed the effect of coincidence on character through humour, grim or ironic, and often had surprise endings.

His Path to Writing

  • Porter attended a school taught by his aunt, then clerked in his uncle’s drugstore.
  • In 1882, Porter went to Texas, where he worked on a ranch, in a general land office
  • Later he worked as a teller in the First National Bank in Austin.
  • Porter began writing sketches at about the time of his marriage to Athol Estes in 1887.
  • Rolling Stone – his writing on a humorous weekly started in 1894.
  • When his venture with a humorous weekly failed, he joined the Houston Post as reporter, columnist, and occasional cartoonist.
  • In February 1896 he was indicted for embezzlement of bank funds and friends aided his flight to Honduras.

“O. Henry” has some works Posthumously published

After his death three more collected volumes appeared:

  • Sixes and Sevens (1911)
  • Rolling Stones (1912)
  • Waifs and Strays (1917)

Later seven fugitive stories and poems –

  • O. Henryana (1920)
  • Letters to Lithopolis (1922)
  • two collections of his early work on the Houston Post
  • Postscripts (1923)
  • O. Henry Encore (1939)

were published.

Read one of his short stories

According to Their Lights by O. Henry



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