Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Whatever happened to O Henry's daughter?

  1. #1

    Whatever happened to O Henry's daughter?

    All I can find out about her is that Margaret Worth Porter died in 1927 which made her 38, about 9 years younger than her father who died of health problems caused or worsened by alcoholism. I can't find anything reliable about her; it's even repeated all over the web that she "lived a long life!"

    So... what caused her death at 37 when her grandfather lived into his sixties? Did she write? Did she have creative leanings? Did she have any accomplishment at all of her own? Did she ever marry?

    I enjoy her father's stories so much that I've been very curious how her life turned out. I'd be grateful for any information.

  2. #2
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    9,922
    Quote Originally Posted by Oona Mistwalker View Post
    All I can find out about her is that Margaret Worth Porter died in 1927 which made her 38, about 9 years younger than her father who died of health problems caused or worsened by alcoholism. I can't find anything reliable about her; it's even repeated all over the web that she "lived a long life!"

    So... what caused her death at 37 when her grandfather lived into his sixties? Did she write? Did she have creative leanings? Did she have any accomplishment at all of her own? Did she ever marry?

    I enjoy her father's stories so much that I've been very curious how her life turned out. I'd be grateful for any information.
    I don't even know who this is until you mentioned it.
    Margaret Worth Porter? Who is that?
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    I don't even know who this is until you mentioned it.
    Margaret Worth Porter? Who is that?
    Margaret Worth Porter was O Henry's daughter. His real name was William Sydney Porter. He married a girl named Athol Estes. I don't know why they named their daughter Margaret but Margaret's middle name came from William's grandmother, Ruth Coffyn Worth. Athol had tuberculosis and William was arrested for embezzling funds from a bank where he worked before he was a writer. He fled the country but returned when he was told she was dying. After her death he was sent to prison and served 3 years, getting out early on good behavior. It was in prison that he began to be published. He would send his stories to a friend under the O Henry penname and the friend would forward them to the publisher, claiming that O Henry was out of the country. Margaret was raised by O Henry's parents when he was out of the country and in prison. She was eleven years old when he was released. He married a second time but his drinking problems wrecked his second marriage when Margaret was about 20. O Henry died the next year from health problems caused or worsened by alcoholism. He was 48. Margaret died about 17 years later when she was about 37 and I find that very puzzling.

    Why die so young?
    What was it like to be his daughter?
    Why is there so little mention of her anywhere?

  4. #4
    Eiseabhal
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    459
    I presume she was ill. There is no set age for dying. I understand your fascination though. The biographical details of literary figures can be fascinating. Porter's life was rather shambolic. Strikes me that a significant number of writers lead lives like that. But probably no more than the average Joe, although there may be some connection between a dysfunctional life and the writer's choice of material and his attitude towards it. O Henry was slick rather than deep but that is useful for a short story writer. The same could be said of De Maupassant and Bierce. Some writers have treated their families in the most awful ways and yet to read critics of their work one might wonder why they weren't canonised yet.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1
    Reviving an old thread-

    Apparently, Margaret has disappeared into historical oblivion.

    I fear that her father is following her on that journey.

    As time goes by, I am encountering younger readers who know nothing about an author known as O.Henry.


    .

  6. #6
    Eiseabhal
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    459
    I reckon a few of his stories will keep cropping up in anthologies for a long time yet.

Similar Threads

  1. What happened?
    By Virgil in forum The Literature Network
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-20-2008, 10:45 PM
  2. What Has Happened?
    By Tuninks in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-01-2008, 06:25 PM
  3. What Just Happened?
    By Kelly_Sprout in forum Forum Games
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 07-22-2006, 11:33 PM
  4. What ever happened to...
    By Molko in forum General Chat
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-21-2006, 11:23 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •