- Date of Birth:
- April 28, 1926
Harper Lee (born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama) is an American Novelist. Harper was the youngest of four children. Her father was a former newspaper editor who also practiced law. While attending Monroe County High School, Harper developed an interest in literature. She graduated in 1944, enrolling in the then-all-female Huntingdon College in Montgomery. After a year, she transferred to University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where she studied for a few years. She left without completing her degree. Harper moved to New York City in 1949, working as an airline reservation agent while writing fiction in her spare time. In 1956, a friend gifted her with a year’s worth of wages to write whatever she wanted, and she took the chance to finish her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Released in 1960, the book was an immediate bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. After Mockingbird’s publication, Harper accompanied Truman Capote to Kansas, helping him research the material that would be published as his book, In Cold Blood. Harper fell away from the public eye, refusing to publish a second novel until 2015. That year, Harper published Go Set A Watchman, set 20 years after the events in Mockingbird.
Best Known For:
Harper Lee is best known as the author who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Harper has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts and she was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor. Harper’s first name, Nelle, is her grandmother’s name, Ellen, spelled backwards.