Harper Lee is an American novelist best known for being the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, a novel regarded as a classic of modern American literature. The following are some facts about the remarkable author.
Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926
Harper Lee was born to a lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee and his wife Frances Cunningham(nee Finch) on April 29, 1926 in a southern small town called Monroeville, Alabama. Harper Lee was the last child among her parents’ four children.
Harper is not her first name
Her birth name was Nelle Harper Lee. She chose her middle name and her last name as her pen name because she worried that her first name would be misspelled. Her first name Nelle was her grandmother’s name spelled backward. And her middle name Harper was in honor of a pediatrician who saved her elder sister Louise’s life.
Celebrities have named their children in her honor
Two notable celebrity families have named a child in honor of Harper Lee. Gregory Peck, the Oscar award-winning actor that played Atticus Finch in the film adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird, named his grandson Harper Peck Voll in honor of Harper Lee.
Also, the famous power couple David and Victoria Beckham named their fourth child Harper Seven Beckham in honor of Harper Lee. David Beckham revealed that To Kill a Mockingbird was Victoria Beckham’s favorite novel and that they named their child Harper as a tribute to the author.
Harper Lee dropped out of school
Harper Lee was studying to become a lawyer at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, but she dropped out without completing the credit requirements for the law degree. This was to her father’s disappointment because he wanted her to become a lawyer like himself and her elder sister Alice Finch Lee.
She is related to Robert E. Lee, a famous American Civil War General
Harper Lee is a member of the Lee family, a prominent family in the South to which the confederate army general Robert E. Lee belongs.
She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with her very first novel
Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960. And in 1961, the novel won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. To Kill a Mockingbird was Harper Lee’s first novel and the center of her career as a novelist.
Her friends bought her time to pursue a writing career
Harper Lee worked for many years in New York City as a ticket reservation agent for an airline. On the Christmas of 1956, her friends gifted her the equivalent of her one year’s wages and told her to take a break from work and write whatever she wanted. To Kill a Mockingbird is the result of that gift.
Harper Lee and her childhood best friend both became writers
Harper Lee and Truman Capote were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama. Both of them grew up to become authors of famous books. And each of them based characters in their respective novels on each other.
Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird has a character Dill that was based on Truman Capote. And Capote based a character in his first novel Other voices, Other Rooms on Harper Lee.
Harper Lee has won several Awards from different sitting Presidents of the United States
Harper Lee’s novel has brought her several awards and recognition even from the American presidency. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Harper Lee to the National Council on the Arts.
In 2007, Lee received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush.
In 2010, president Barack Obama awarded Harper Lee the National Medal of Arts.
She died at the age of Eighty-nine on February 19, 2016
Harper Lee died in her sleep on February 19, 2016, in Monroeville, Alabama. She died at the age of eighty-nine.
Is Harper Lee alive?
No, Harper Lee is not alive. She died in her sleep on February 19, 2016, in her hometown Monroeville, Alabama.
She was eighty-nine years old when she died.
What famous war general was Harper Lee related to?
Harper Lee was related to the historical figure Robert E. Lee, a general of the confederate army that fought for the south in the American Civil War.
What are four interesting facts about Harper Lee?
Four interesting facts about Harper Lee include: Harper is not her first name, it is her middle her first name is actually Nelle; two, she dropped out of college where she was studying to become a lawyer; three, she won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961; four, she and bestselling author Truman Capote were childhood friends.
What degree did Harper Lee have?
Harper Lee left school without obtaining a degree. However, in May 2006, she was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Notre Dame.