O. Henry is the pen name of American writer William Sydney Porter (1862-1910). Porter's 400 short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, characterization and the clever use of twist endings. He travelled to Austin in 1884, where he took a number of different jobs over the next several years, first as pharmacist then as a draftsman, bank teller and journalist. He also began writing as a sideline to employment. Porter's most prolific writing period started in 1902, when he moved to New York City to be near his publishers. He wrote 381 short stories while living there. He wrote a story a week for over a year for the New York World Sunday Magazine. His wit, characterization and plot twists were adored by his readers, but often panned by the critics. Yet, he went on to gain international recognition and is credited with defining the short story as a literary art form. His works include: Cabbages and Kings (1904), The Four Million (1906), Heart of the West (1907), The Trimmed Lamp and Other Stories of the Four Million (1907), The Voice of the City: Further Stories of the Four Million (1908), The Gentle Grafter (1908) and Roads of Destiny (1909).
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