17 November 2009
6 June 1910
O. HENRY DIES FROM EFFECTS OF OPERATION
William Sydney Porter, Well Known and Popular Magazine Writer, Succumbs in New York Hostpital -- Work Was Humorous, Attracting Much Attention.
Literary Career Started On Staff of Houston Daily Post -- Formerly Cowboy, Sheep Herder, Druggist and a Traveler -- Little Known of Private Life.
NEW YORK, June 5 -- William Sydney Porter, better known under his pen name of "O. Henry," writer of short stories, died today at Polytechnic hospital. He underwent an operation last Friday and never rallied. The nature of his ailment was not made known. Mrs. Porter, who had been in South Carolina, was not summoned by telegraph, but did not arrive here until after her husband's death.
Mr. Porter was born in Texas 62 years ago, and began his journalistic career on the Houston Post. Before that he had been a cowboy, sheep herder and druggist, and an extensive traveler. The general public knew little of his private life, for he shunned interviewers and was content to be known merely through his writings as "O. Henry."
His breezy paragraphs in Texas first drew attention to the young writer several years ago. Then he launched forth with "Sunday Stories" for the New York paper and was recognized at once as a writer of ability. Magazine stories followed and his fame was assured. It was only two years ago, however, that any but his closest friends knew his real name. Then he reluctantly consented to have his photograph printed with a brief biography sketch.
He had been in poor health for some time, but it was thought his illness was not serious. Wednesday he dined with friends and seemed in his usual spirits. Friday night he was taken ill and was moved to the hospital. A minor operation was performed, but up to within one hour of his death, it was thought he would recover.
Derangement of both liver and kidneys, however, proved more deep seated than had been thought, and he sank rapidly.
The burial will be at Asheville, North Carolina.