- NAME: Truman Capote
- OCCUPATION: Author
- BIRTH DATE: September 30, 1924
- DEATH DATE: August 25, 1984
- EDUCATION: Trinity School, St. Joseph Military Academy, Greenwich High School, Dwight School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New Orleans, Louisiana
- PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
- Originally: Truman Streckfus Persons
- Full Name: Truman Garcia Capote
- AKA: Truman Capote
- AKA: Truman Persons
Best Known For
Truman Capote was a trailblazing writer of Southern descent known for the works Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, among others.
Truman Capote - Mini Bio (3:31)
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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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In 1884 Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and furthered his rebellious nature as one of America's premiere authors.
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Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 30, 1924, Truman Capote went on to become a professional writer, making waves with his debut novel Other Voices, Other Rooms. His novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) was adapted into a popular film, and his book In Cold Blood (1966) was a pioneering form of narrative non-fiction. Capote spent his later years pursuing celebrity and struggled with drug addiction. He died in 1984 in Los Angeles, California.
"I don't care what anybody says about me as long as it isn't true."
"To me the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it is about but the inner music that words make."
"My major regret in life is that my childhood was unnecessarily lonely."
"Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as a painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself."
"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act."
Acclaimed writer Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons on September 30, 1924, in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the 20th century's most well-known writers, Capote was as fascinating a character as those who appeared in his stories. His parents were an odd pair—a small-town girl named Lillie Mae and a charming schemer called Arch—and they largely neglected their son, often leaving him in the care of others. Capote spent much of his young life in the care of his mother's relatives in Monroeville, Alabama.
In Monroeville, Capote befriended a young Harper Lee. The two were opposites—Capote was a sensitive boy who was picked on by other kids for being a wimp, while Lee was a rough and tumble tomboy. Despite their differences, Lee found Capote to be a delight, calling him "a pocket Merlin" for his creative and inventive ways. Little did these playful pals know that they would both become famous writers one day.
While he had fun with his friends, Capote also had to struggle with his nightmarish family life. Seeing little of his mother and his father over the years, he often wrestled with feeling abandoned by them. One of the few times he caught their interest was during their divorce with each of them fighting for custody as a way to hurt the other. Capote finally did get to live with his mother full time in 1932, but this reunion did not turn out as he had hoped. He moved to New York City to live with her and his new stepfather, Joe Capote.
His once-doting mother was quite different once he started to encounter her on a daily basis. Lillie Mae—now calling herself Nina—could easily be cruel or kind to Truman, and he never knew what to expect from her. She often picked on him for his effeminate ways, and for not being like other boys. His stepfather seemed to be a more stable personality in the home, but Truman was not interested in his help or support at the time. Still, he was officially adopted by his stepfather, and his name was changed to Truman Garcia Capote in 1935.
A mediocre student, Capote did well in the courses that interested him and paid little attention in those that did not. He attended a private boys' school in Manhattan from 1933 to 1936, where he charmed some of his classmates. An unusual boy, Capote had a gift for telling stories and entertaining people. His mother wanted to make him more masculine, and thought that sending him to a military academy would be the answer. The 1936-1937 school year proved to be a disaster for Capote. The smallest in his class, he was often picked on by the other cadets.
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