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The Last Leaf

O. Henry

O. Henry is the pen name of William Sydney Porter (1862 1910).  The stories he wrote are known for their clever twist endings ---  and his personal  life was as interesting as any story !

Besides being a well known writer, under the O. Henry name,  Porter was a singer and musician.  His life became troubled when his wife suffered from tuberculosis and he lost his job, at the Bank he worked for, when they accused him of embezzlement .  Later he was indicted and arrested but he continuously denied the charges. When it came time to stand trial, he fled to Honduras but later came back when his wife was dying. He ended up standing trial for the embezzlement and sentenced to five years in an Ohio Penitentiary. While in prison he continued writing his stories and a friend would mail them to the publisher so that it wouldn't be known he was in prison.   Later after being released, and his writing became successful, he began drinking heavily and his health deteriorated.  He died in 1910 of cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes and an enlarged heart.

The following is one of his well-known short stories.

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