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O. Henry
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    (September 11, 1862-June 5, 1910)
    Born in Greensboro, North Carolina
    Birth name was William Sidney Porter
    Wrote over 400 short stories
    Best-known works include 'The Ransom of Red Chief,' 'A Retrieved Reformation,' 'After Twenty Years,' 'Compliments of the Season' and 'The Gift of the Magi'
    When he was charged with embezzling from the bank where he worked, he skipped bail and fled for Honduras (1896).
    He served three years in jail for the crime (1898-1901).
    At his peak, he drank two quarts of whiskey a day.
    He provided several different stories about the inspiration for his pen name.
    Despite what some sources say, he was not the namesake for the 'Oh! Henry' candy bar.
    While in Honduras, he coined the term 'banana republic.'
    He returned to the states after learning his wife was dying of tuberculosis.
    He is the namesake for the O. Henry Award for outstanding short stories.
    Despite his heavy drinking, he averaged a story a week.
    His stories are known for their wit and their twist endings.
    His life had a twist ending he would have appreciated: his funeral at Manhattan's Little Church Around the Corner was accidentally scheduled at the same time as a wedding.

Credit: C. Fishel

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