Truman Capote (30 September 1924, New Orleans, Louisiana - 25 August 1984, Los Angeles, California)
Truman Capote (30 September 1924, New Orleans, Louisiana - 25 August 1984, Los Angeles, California) was an American writer whose stories, novels, plays and non-fiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and In Cold Blood (1965), which he labeled a "non-fiction novel." At least 20 films and TV dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.
Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of 17-year-old Lillie Mae (nйe Faulk) and Archelaus Persons, who was a salesman. When he was four, his parents divorced, and he was sent to Monroeville, Alabama, where he was raised by his mother's relatives. He formed a fast bond with his mother's distant relative, Nanny Rumbley Faulk, whom Truman called 'Sook'. "Her face is remarkable—not unlike Lincoln's, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind," is how Capote described Sook in "A Christmas Memory." In Monroeville, he was a neighbor and friend of Harper Lee, who grew up to write To Kill a Mockingbird.
As a lonely child, Capote taught himself to read and write before he entered the first grade in school. Capote was often seen at age five carrying his dictionary and notepad, and he began writing when he was ten.  At this time, he was given the nickname Bulldog, possibly a pun reference of "Bulldog Truman" to the fictional detective Bulldog Drummond popular in films of the mid-1930s.
On Saturdays, he made trips from Monroeville to Mobile, and when he was ten, he submitted his short story, "Old Mr. Busybody," to a children's writing contest sponsored by the Mobile Press Register.
In 1933, he moved to New York City to live with his mother and her second husband, Joseph Capote, a Cuban-born textile broker, who adopted his stepson and renamed him Truman Garcнa Capote. When he was 11, he began writing seriously in daily three-hour sessions. Of his early days Capote related, "I began writing really sort of seriously when I was about eleven. I say seriously in the sense that like other kids go home and practice the violin or the piano or whatever, I used to go home from school every day and I would write for about three hours. I was obsessed by it." In 1935, he attended the Trinity School. He then attended St. Joseph's military academy. In 1939, the Capotes moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, and Truman attended Greenwich High School, where he wrote for both the school's literary journal, The Green Witch, and the school newspaper. Back in New York in 1942, he graduated from the Dwight School, an Upper West Side private school where an award is now given annually in his name.
When he was 17, Capote ended his formal education and began a two-year job at The New Yorker. Years later, he wrote, "Not a very grand job, for all it really involved was sorting cartoons and clipping newspapers. Still, I was fortunate to have it, especially since I was determined never to set a studious foot inside a college classroom. I felt that either one was or wasn't a writer, and no combination of professors could influence the outcome. I still think I was correct, at least in my own case."
Between 1943 and 1946, Capote wrote a continual flow of short fiction, including "A Mink of One's Own," "Miriam," (for which he won the O. Henry Award) "My Side of the Matter," "Preacher's Legend," "Shut a Final Door" and "The Walls Are Cold." These stories were published in both literary quarterlies and well-known magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Magazine, Mademoiselle, The New Yorker, Prairie Schooner and Story. Interviewed in 1957 for the The Paris Review, Capote was asked about his short story technique, answering:
Since each story presents its own technical problems, obviously one can't generalize about them on a two-times-two-equals-four basis. Finding the right form for your story is simply to realize the most natural way of telling the story.