Biography of Harper Lee

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Harper Lee
John Iverson
3rd hour

Harper Lee was born on April 28th, 1926. She grew up in Monroeville, Alabama. As a child Harper was a frequent reader. Harper graduated from Monroe County High School in Monroeville, and enrolled at the all female Huntingdon College in Montgomery for one year. She then pursued a law degree at the University of Alabama from 1945 to 1949. Harper wrote several student books and spent one year as an editor for the campus humor magazine, “Rammer Jammer”. She did not complete her law degree so she moved to New York City in 1950. There she worked as a reservation clerk with Eastern Air Lines and BOAC. Harper continued as a reservation clerk until 1958 when she decided to focus most of her time and devoted herself to writing.

Harper wrote several long stories. She then decided to locate and agent in November 1956. Her friends donated a year’s wages to let Harper have time off from her job to write. So Harper quit her job and devoted herself to her craft. Within a year, she had a first draft. She completed “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the summer of 1959. It became published July 11, 1960. It was an immediate bestseller and won great critical acclaim. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. It remains a bestseller with more than 30 million copies in print. In 1999, “To Kill a Mockingbird” was voted “Best Novel of the Century” in a poll by the Library Journal.

Since publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Harper has accepted almost no requests for interviews or public appearances, and with the exception of a few short essays, has published any further writings. She however did work on a second novel called “The Long Goodbye”, which she eventually filed it away unfinished. In June 1966, Lee was one of the two persons named by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the National Council on the Arts.

Harper Lee was portrayed in many films during the late 90’s and up. She was portrayed in movies such as Capote, Infamous, and Other...
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