Thursday, September 20, 2012

What’s In A Name?

William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), known by his pen name 'O. Henry' was a much loved American short story writer.

Last week Porter/O.Henry got his own stamp as part of the Literary Arts series.

No one quite knows why Porter took 'O. Henry' as his nom de plume.

However, after Porter was found guilty of bank embezzlement in February 1898, sentenced to five years in prison, and imprisoned on March 25, 1898, he began writing stories in prison under the name of 'O. Henry.'

According to the USPS Stamp of Approval blog, "... Porter gave different answers when people asked where the name came from. One scholar has suggested that it stems from Porter’s fascination with codes, and may be composed of three pairs of letters from the words 'Ohio State Penitentiary.'”

To learn more about O. Henry on the USPS Stamp of Approval blog, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM