Best Known For
Harper Lee is best known for writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)—her one and only published novel.
Harper Lee - Mini Biography (3:04)
William Faulkner - Mini Bio (3:53)
Truman Capote - Mini Bio (3:31)
In 1961, Harper Lee became the only author to win the Pulitzer Prize for her first and only novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Gregory Peck starred as Atticus Finch in the film adaptation of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird." Peck's character was voted the greatest movie hero of all time.
A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, William Faulkner was the poet-novelist of Mississippi. His novels "The Sound and the Fury," "As I Lay Dying," and "Light in August" all reflect the history and culture of the American South.
Known as the originator of the true-crime novel, Truman Capote was both a renowned author as well as a controversial celebrity. His non-fiction novel, "In Cold Blood," became an international best-seller.
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Lee visited the set during filming and did a lot of interviews to support the film. Earning eight Academy Award nominations, the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird won four awards, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch. The character of Atticus is said to have been based on Lee’s father.
By the mid-1960s, Lee was reportedly working on a second novel, but it was never published. Continuing to help Capote, Lee worked with him on and off on In Cold Blood. She had been invited by Smith and Hickock to witness their execution in 1965, but she declined. When Capote’s book was finally published in 1966, a rift developed between the two friends and collaborators. Capote dedicated the book to Lee and to his longtime lover Jack Dunphy, but he failed to acknowledge her contributions to the work. While Lee was very angry and hurt by this betrayal, she remained friends with Truman for the rest of his life.
That same year, Lee had an operation on her hand to repair damage done by a bad burn. She also accepted a post on the National Council of the Arts at the request of President Lyndon B. Johnson. During the 1970s and 1980s, Lee largely retreated from public life.
She spent some of her time on a nonfiction book project about an Alabama serial killer, which had the working title The Reverend. But the work was never published.
Lee continues to live a quiet, private life in New York City and Monroeville. Active in her church and community, she usually avoids anything to do with her still popular novel.
On May, 3 2013 Lee filed a lawsuit in federal court against the son-in-law of her former agent claiming he "engaged in a scheme to dupe" the writer out of the copyright to her most famous work.
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