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 (3:32)
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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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 failed to acknowledge her contributions to the work. While Lee was very angry and hurt by this betrayal, she remained friends with Capote 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.
Lee spent some of her time on a non-fiction book project about an Alabama serial killer, which had the working title The Reverend. This work, however, 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, Samuel Pinkus. The writer charges that, in 2007, Pinkus "engaged in a scheme to dupe" her out of the copyright to her most famous work and only published novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, later diverting royalties from the work.
Later that year, Lee launched another legal effort. She filed suit against the Old Courthouse Museum located her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. The famous author is upset over To Kill a Mockingbird related merchandise sold in the museum's gift shop, which she believes infringes on her trademarks. She is seeking damages in the case and for the offending items to be destroyed.
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