O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney [´sIdnI] Porter, was an American short-story writer. His stories are still popular today. He was born in 1862 in a small provincial town. In his early years he tried many jobs, among which were several literary ones.
O. Henry's first story was published in 1899, when the writer was in prison on a false charge of stealing money from a bank. After he came out of prison, O. Henry became a professional writer.
O. Henry describes the life of the \"little people\": clerks, shop assistants and farm workers. His stories are mainly humourous and amusing, with the traditional happy end. Through the gaiety and humour of his stories, however, the hard life of the poor can be seen.
O. Henry died in 1910.