William Sydney Porter, also known as O. Henry, was born on September \(11\), \(1862\), in Greensboro, North Carolina. His parents were Algernon Sidney Porter (a physician) and Mary Jane Virginia Swaim Porter. When Henry was three-year-old, his mother died after giving birth to her third child. Later, Henry and his father moved to the grandmother's house. As a child, O. Henry had the habit of reading books.

Henry did his schooling from his aunt Evelina Maria Porter's elementary school in \(1876\). After completing his elementary education, Henry joined Lindsey Street High School, and his aunt continued to tutor him until he was \(15\). Later, in \(1879\) he started working in his uncle's drug store (medical shop or pharmacy) in Greensboro. At the age of 19, Porter became a licensed pharmacist.

O. Henry was a famous American short story writer. He was also known for his intelligence, story-telling character and musical talents. He had a deep affection for the city (New York), which he called "Bagdad-on-the-Subway", and many of his stories were set there while others were set in small towns or other cities. O. Henry's stories frequently had surprise and twisted endings. For instance, our prescribed short story "The Cop and the Anthem" also has an unexpected twisted ending.
William Sydney Porter*
Some of his most important works are:
  • The Duplicity of Hargraves (1902)
  • A Retrieved Reformation (1903)
  • The Cop and the Anthem (1904)
  • The Gift of the Magi (1905)
  • The Ransom of Red Chief (1907)
William Sydney Porter died on June \(5\), \(1910\), in New York.