Released to collectors November 9, 2014, along with
First Day of Issue
Life for William Porter was not an easy life. Lacking funds and resources, he wasn't able to save his wife from illness, after which he spent some time in prison for embezzelment. In and through it all, a witty and humorous way of seeing iife began to be expressed in his writings and short stories. He became the 3rd most read author in history.
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First Day of Issue
September 11, 2012
Greensboro, NC. 27420
After Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe, William Sydney Porter is the most read author in the world and bears the title “master of the short story.” He chose the pen name O. Henry, but I was unable to discover the one reason for that. There are many stories circulating as to how and why he used the name, and some of the versions were told by Porter himself, so suffice it to say, I don’t know the origin of the name. I suppose it will forever be a mystery. What I do know about Porter, from some of his writings, is that he had quite a sense of humor. He is credited with coining the term “banana republic” which appeared first in his book Cabbages and Kings. William was an extremely bright child, but with the passing of his mother when he was three, and the aftermath of the Civil War, public school was not an option. However, his Aunt Lina started a private school to teach the children in Greensboro, North Carolina and Will was able to attend. At seventeen, Will worked at his uncle’s drug store and became a pharmacist, mixing and mingling with many interesting personalities—some of whom would later appear in his stories. It was 1882 when Will left Greensboro and headed to Texas where he lived and worked on a ranch owned by family friends. He eventually inched his way to Austin, Texas securing a job in the General Land Office as a draftsman and setting his sights on a lovely young lady named Athol Estes.
Read the article in its entirety in the 6-page November 2014 Bevil newsletter, which accompanies the cover.