Capote, Truman, 1924-1984

Alternative names
Birth 1924
Birth 1924-09-30
Death 1984-08-25

Biographical notes:

BIOGHIST REQUIRED American author.

From the guide to the Truman Capote ephemera Collection, 1949-1988., (Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )

Truman Capote (1924- ), American author.

From the description of Truman Capote papers, 1939-1976. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38476609

Truman Capote is an American writer.

From the description of Truman Capote fonds. (University of Victoria Libraries). WorldCat record id: 667848368

Author, born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans on September 24, 1924. Capote's major works include Other Voices, Other Rooms; Breakfast At Tiffany's; and In Cold Blood. He died on August 25, 1984.

From the description of Truman Capote papers, ca. 1924-1984. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144652271

American author.

From the description of Truman Capote papers, 1949-1988. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 472459768

Author and dramatist.

From the description of Truman Capote papers, 1947-1965. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71069030

Biographical Note

  • 1924, Sept. 30: Born Truman Streckfus Persons, New Orleans, La.
  • 1945: Short story, "Miriam," published in Mademoiselle magazine
  • 1948: Published first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms. New York, Random House
  • 1958: Published Breakfast at Tiffany's; A Short Novel and Three Stories. New York, Random House
  • 1965: Published In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences. New York, Random House
  • 1980: Published last novel, Music for Chameleons. New York, Random House
  • 1984, Aug. 25: Died, Los Angeles, Calif.

From the guide to the Truman Capote Papers, 1947-1965, (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans on September 24, 1924, the son of Archulus Persons and Lillie Mae Faulk. After his parents' divorce Capote was sent to live with relatives in rural Alabama. During that childhood stay in Alabama, Capote developed an abiding affection for an elderly cousin, about whom he wrote in A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor . Capote continued to visit the South throughout his childhood, and his experiences there were reflected in many of his books.

In 1935 Truman changed his surname to that of his newly adoptive father, Lillie Mae Faulk's second husband, Joseph Garcia Capote. Capote was then sent to a series of boarding schools in the East before being enrolled at Greenwich High School in Connecticut in 1939. Catherine Wood, and English teacher at Greenwich, recognized Capote's talents and encouraged him in his writing. Capote published short stories and poetry in the school's literary journal, the Green Witch, and wrote for the school paper. Catherine Wood remained a life-long friend and mentor to Capote.

Capote graduated from Franklin High School in New York City and, after a short stint at the New Yorker, he turned to writing full time. While living in Alabama with relatives and later in New Orleans, Capote published several short stories and worked on his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, which was published by Random House in 1948.

Over the next ten years Capote continued to write short stories. He also published travel pieces, journalistic articles, and interviews in the New Yorker and other magazines. In 1958 his second novel, Breakfast at Tiffany's, was published; in 1959 Capote began research on the Clutter family murders in Kansas. This research formed the basis for In Cold Blood, which first appeared serially in the New Yorker (see Box 31) in 1965 and was published as a book later the same year.

In Cold Blood was well received for the most part, but the new genre it embodied, dubbed the "nonfiction novel" by Capote, engendered some controversy. Like Capote's first two books, In Cold Blood was a "best seller." Capote was becoming a personality. He appeared frequently on television, and his social life was noted regularly in the press. While literary critics praised his works, Capote's fame arose in large part from his constant presence in the public eye.

Capote published his last novel, Music for Chameleons, in 1950. During the 1970s Esquire published excerpts from a novel in progress, Answered Prayers, which was still unfinished when Capote died on August 25, 1984.

From the guide to the Truman Capote papers, ca. 1924-1992, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)


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  • American literature--20th century
  • Murder--Investigation--Kansas
  • Ciegos--Libros y lectura
  • Motion picture plays
  • Publishers and Publishing
  • Musicals
  • Fiction
  • Motion pictures--Production and direction
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Literature
  • Murder--Investigation
  • Short stories
  • Authors, American
  • American fiction
  • Murder literature
  • Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Drama
  • American literature
  • Printed ephemera


  • Lyricists
  • Authors
  • Dramatists


  • Kansas (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)