Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11/1862 O. Henry is sweet

September 11, 1862.  William Sydney Porter was born on this date in Greensboro, North Carolina. He spent five years in prison for embezzling $856 from the bank where he worked.

But he is remembered today as one of America's greatest short story artists, under the name O. Henry. His "Gift of the Magi" will apparently live forever.  But in our field he is revered for creating the legendary safe cracker Jimmy Valentine, who only appeared in  one story, "A Retrieved Reformation," as well as the much-copied "Ransom of Red Chief."

"The Caballero's Way," featured the Cisco Kid, but he was anything but the brave Mexican hero of TV and the movies.  Instead this Cisco was a vicious American outlaw.

Oh, and Henry coined the phrase "banana republic," when he was in Honduras, hiding out from the bank charges.  Quite a full life.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I didn't know that about the banana republic phrase!

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