Truman Capote
Novelist, short story writer, playwright
Truman Capote
Truman Streckfus Persons, known as Truman Capote, was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's and the true crime novel In Cold Blood, which he labeled a "nonfiction novel. " At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.
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Viewpoint - Fiction rules - The Hindu
Google News - over 5 years
And while praising Aman Sethi's A Free Man this July, Nilanjana Roy added: “For years, a writer friend spoke wistfully of the Great Barsati Novel: a mythical beast that would do for Delhi, presumably, what Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's or Jay
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The Empress of Fashion's Legacy - Daily Beast
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She danced alongside Josephine Baker in Harlem during the Roaring '20s, rode horses with Buffalo Bill, frequented Coco Chanel's atelier, witnessed the coronation of King Edward, saw Hitler at the Munich Opera, attended Truman Capote's Black and White
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Column: The sad triumph of the tweet - Victoria Times Colonist
Google News - over 5 years
He walks among the icons of New Journalism — Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote, Joe McGinniss, Joe Eszterhas, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton — who in the 1960s and '70s brought the novel to the newspaper, formulating the writing style that helped shape modern
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Truman Capote's In Cold Blood: a new introduction - The Arts Desk
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Following the fanfare that accompanied the publication of In Cold Blood in 1965, Truman Capote, ever the consummate self-publicist, claimed to have written a book that was truly different and original - even, perhaps, the first of its kind
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Truman Capote, America's Author-Celebrity - Smithsonian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In the late 1960s, author Truman Capote had reached the pinnacle of the jet set, lunching with New York socialites and throwing a masquerade ball that many called the social event of the sixties. Capote's crossover fame is scarcely rivaled by any
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Castro-Rappl receives Truman Capote Literary Trust Scholarship in Creative Writing - Appalachian State University
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BOONE—John Castro-Rappl of Raleigh has received a $700 Truman Capote Literary Trust Scholarship in Creative Writing for the 2011-12 academic year at Appalachian State University. This year's competition focused on fiction, creative nonfiction and
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Literary Brooklyn's Self-Reflective Gathering - New York Observer
Google News - over 5 years
Home to Walt Whitman, the father of American poetry, Brooklyn has raised Henry Miller and inspired Hart Crane and Truman Capote, among many others. And in today's Brooklyn, of course, the literati teem through the
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Capote Townhouse Revisited - New Yorker (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Last year I wrote a post about 70 Willow Street, the eighteen-room Brooklyn Heights townhouse which served as home to Truman Capote from 1955 to 1965. The mansion has only been listed three times since 1940, and it had just been put on the market for a
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Daring debut - Marshall Independent
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... journals and has won several awards for her writing, which includes the Southern Literary Festival Award for Best Short Fiction, the Joan Johnson Writing Award, the Henfield Foundation's Transatlantic Review Award and a Truman Capote Fellowship
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C'mon, Mr. Capote. Tell us what you really think. - OUPblog (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Even today, Truman Capote remains one of America's most controversial authors. Following early literary success, his flamboyant lifestyle was well-documented. When criticized about his behavior at the many parties and restaurants he frequented,
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Capote wit sits badly in B'klyn - New York Post
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Truman Capote might've lived in Brooklyn "by choice," but he never had to deal with such critics. The late, great "Breakfast at Tiffany's" scribe is at the center of a controversy in Downtown Brooklyn
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Gossip girl - Independent Woman, Lifestyle - -
Google News - over 5 years
Truman Capote said that all literature was gossip, and Hugh Leonard went further, saying that people prefer gossip to literature — which explains why sales of 'Heat' magazine tend to be higher than, say, Booker-prize winning novels
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Bookmarks: 75-book contract, Truman Capote, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. -
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Most of the covers feature washboard abs. William S. Burroughs and Truman Capote were not mutual admirers. Far from it. Thom Robinson does some excellent research in a revealing article that shows how jealousy can cloud otherwise fine minds
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7 degrees to Truman Capote - OUPblog (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
She and I were discussing William Todd Schultz's Tiny Terror: Why Truman Capote (Almost) Wrote Answered Prayers, and the conversation somehow collided with The Oracle of Bacon. An idea was born. Frannie seemed up to the challenge, so I told her I would
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Magic of the Sea - New York Times
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PARIS — From Truman Capote's “swans” — the society ladies who mesmerized the precocious novelist — to the elegant groups gathered together by Marie-Hélenè de Rothschild, the 20th century was filled with grandiose events
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Truman Capote
  • 1984
    Age 59
    In fact, he took the blanket with him when he flew from New York to Los Angeles to be with Joanne Carson on August 23, 1984.
    More Details Hide Details According to Joanne Carson, when he died at her home on August 25, his last words were, "It's me, it's Buddy," followed by, "I'm cold." Buddy was Sook's name for him. One of the things the movie does best is transport you back in time and into nature. In the early scenes as Joel leaves his aunt's home to travel across the South by rickety bus and horse and carriage, you feel the strangeness, wonder and anxiety of a child abandoning everything that's familiar to go to a place so remote he has to ask directions along the way. The landscape over which he travels is so rich and fertile that you can almost smell the earth and sky. Later on, when Joel tussles with Idabell (Aubrey Dollar), a tomboyish neighbor who becomes his best friend (a character inspired by the author Harper Lee), the movie has a special force and clarity in its evocation of the physical immediacy of being a child playing outdoors.
  • 1980
    Age 55
    After the revocation of his driver's license (the result of speeding near his Long Island residence) and a hallucinatory seizure in 1980 that required hospitalization, Capote became fairly reclusive.
    More Details Hide Details These hallucinations continued unabated and medical scans eventually revealed that his brain mass had perceptibly shrunk. On the rare occasions when he was lucid, he continued to promote Answered Prayers as being nearly complete and was reportedly planning a reprise of the Black and White Ball to be held either in Los Angeles or a more exotic locale in South America. On a few occasions, he was still able to write. In 1982, a new short story, "One Christmas," appeared in the December issue of Ladies' Home Journal; the following year it became, like its predecessors A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor, a holiday gift book. In 1983, "Remembering Tennessee," an essay in tribute to Tennessee Williams, who had died in February of that year, appeared in Playboy magazine.
  • 1978
    Age 53
    In 1978, talk show host Stanley Siegel did an on-air interview with Capote, who, in an extraordinarily intoxicated state, confessed that he had been awake for 48 hours and when questioned by Siegel, "What's going to happen unless you lick this problem of drugs and alcohol?", Capote responded: "The obvious answer is that eventually, I mean, I'll kill myself... without meaning to".
    More Details Hide Details The live broadcast made national headlines. One year later, when he felt betrayed by Lee Radziwill in a feud with perpetual nemesis Gore Vidal, Capote arranged a return visit to Stanley Siegel's show, this time to deliver a bizarrely comic performance revealing an incident wherein Vidal was thrown out of the Kennedy White House due to intoxication. Capote also went into salacious details regarding the personal life of Lee Radziwill and her sister, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Andy Warhol, who had looked up to the writer as a mentor in his early days in New York and often partied with Capote at Studio 54, agreed to paint Capote's portrait as "a personal gift" in exchange for Capote's contributing short pieces to Warhol's Interview magazine every month for a year in the form of a column, Conversations with Capote. Initially the pieces were to consist of tape-recorded conversations, but soon Capote eschewed the tape recorder in favor of semi-fictionalized "conversational portraits". These pieces formed the basis for the bestselling Music for Chameleons (1980). Capote underwent a facelift, lost weight and experimented with hair transplants. Despite this, Capote was unable to overcome his reliance upon drugs and liquor and had grown bored with New York by the beginning of the 1980s.
  • 1975
    Age 50
    Capote permitted Esquire to publish four chapters of the unfinished novel in 1975 and 1976.
    More Details Hide Details The first to appear, "Mojave", ran as a self-contained short story and was favorably received, but the second, "La Côte Basque 1965", based in part on the dysfunctional personal lives of Capote's friends William S. Paley and Babe Paley, generated controversy. Although the issue featuring "La Côte Basque" sold out immediately upon publication, its much-discussed betrayal of confidences alienated Capote from his established base of middle-aged, wealthy female friends, who feared the intimate and often sordid details of their ostensibly glamorous lives would be exposed to the public. Another two chapters, "Unspoiled Monsters" and "Kate McCloud", appeared subsequently; intended to form the long opening section of the novel, they displayed a marked shift in narrative voice, introduced a more elaborate plot structure, and together formed a novella-length mosaic of fictionalized memoir and gossip. "Unspoiled Monsters", which by itself was almost as long as Breakfast at Tiffany's, contained a thinly veiled satire of Tennessee Williams, whose friendship with Capote had already become strained.
  • 1973
    Age 48
    In July 1973, Capote met John O'Shea, the middle-aged vice president of Marine Midland Bank on Long Island, while visiting a bathhouse.
    More Details Hide Details The married father of three did not identify as homosexual or bisexual, perceiving his visits as being a "kind of masturbation." However, O'Shea found Capote's fortune alluring and harbored aspirations to become a professional writer. After consummating their relationship in Palm Springs, the two engaged in an ongoing war of jealousy and manipulation for the remainder of the decade. Longtime friends were appalled when O'Shea, who was officially employed as Capote's manager, attempted to take total control of the author's literary and business interests. Through his jet set social life Capote had been gathering observations for a tell-all novel, Answered Prayers (eventually to be published as Answered Prayers: The Unfinished Novel). The book, which had been in the planning stages since 1958, was intended to be the American equivalent of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time and a culmination of the "nonfiction novel" format. Initially scheduled for publication in 1968, the novel was eventually delayed, at Capote's insistence, to 1972. Because of the delay, he was forced to return money received for the film rights to 20th Century Fox. Capote spoke about the novel in interviews, but continued to postpone the delivery date.
    He ultimately refused to write the article, so the magazine recouped its interests by publishing, in April 1973, an interview of the author conducted by Andy Warhol.
    More Details Hide Details A collection of previously published essays and reportage, The Dogs Bark: Public People and Private Places, appeared later that year.
  • 1972
    Age 47
    In 1972, Capote accompanied the Rolling Stones on their 1972 American Tour as a correspondent for Rolling Stone magazine.
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  • 1967
    Age 42
    Capote was commissioned to write the teleplay for a 1967 television production starring Radziwill: an adaptation of the classic Otto Preminger film Laura (1944).
    More Details Hide Details The adaptation, and Radziwill's performance in particular, received indifferent reviews and poor ratings; arguably, it was Capote's first major professional setback. Radziwill supplanted the older Babe Paley as his primary female companion in public throughout the better part of the 1970s. On November 28, 1966, in honor of The Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, Capote hosted a now legendary masked ball, called the Black and White Ball, in the Grand Ballroom of New York City's Plaza Hotel. It was considered the social event of not only that season but of many to follow. The New York Times and other publications gave it considerable coverage, and Deborah Davis wrote an entire book about the event, Party of the Century (2006), excerpted by The Independent. Different accounts of the evening were collected by George Plimpton in his book Truman Capote. Capote dangled the prized invitations for months, snubbing early supporters like fellow Southern writer Carson McCullers as he determined who was "in" and who was "out."
    When the film version of the book was made in 1967, Capote arranged for Marie Dewey to receive $10,000 from Columbia Pictures as a paid consultant to the making of the film.
    More Details Hide Details Another work described by Capote as "nonfiction" was later reported to have been largely fabricated. In a 1992 piece in the Sunday Times, reporters Peter and Leni Gillman investigated the source of "Handcarved Coffins", the story in Capote's last work Music for Chameleons subtitled "a nonfiction account of an American crime". They found no reported series of American murders in the same town which included all of the details Capote described – the sending of miniature coffins, a rattlesnake murder, a decapitation, etc. Instead, they found that a few of the details closely mirrored an unsolved case on which investigator Al Dewey had worked. Their conclusion was that Capote had invented the rest of the story, including his meetings with the suspected killer, Quinn. Capote was openly homosexual. One of his first serious lovers was Smith College literature professor Newton Arvin, who won the National Book Award for his Herman Melville biography in 1951 and to whom Capote dedicated Other Voices, Other Rooms. However, Capote spent the majority of his life until his death partnered to Jack Dunphy, a fellow writer. In his book, "Dear Genius " A Memoir of My Life with Truman Capote, Dunphy attempts both to explain the Capote he knew and loved within their relationship and the very success-driven and, eventually, drug- and alcohol-addicted person who existed outside of their relationship. It provides perhaps the most in-depth and intimate look at Capote's life, outside of his own works.
  • 1966
    Age 41
    In Cold Blood brought Capote much praise from the literary community, but there were some who questioned certain events as reported in the book. Writing in Esquire in 1966, Phillip K. Tompkins noted factual discrepancies after he traveled to Kansas and spoke to some of the same people interviewed by Capote.
    More Details Hide Details In a telephone interview with Tompkins, Mrs. Meier denied that she heard Perry cry and that she held his hand as described by Capote. In Cold Blood indicates that Meier and Perry became close, yet she told Tompkins she spent little time with Perry and did not talk much with him. Tompkins concluded: Capote has, in short, achieved a work of art. He has told exceedingly well a tale of high terror in his own way. But, despite the brilliance of his self-publicizing efforts, he has made both a tactical and a moral error that will hurt him in the short run. By insisting that "every word" of his book is true he has made himself vulnerable to those readers who are prepared to examine seriously such a sweeping claim. True crime writer Jack Olsen also commented on the fabrications:
  • 1958
    Age 33
    An outraged Capote resold the novella to Esquire for its November, 1958 issue; by his own account, he told Esquire he would only be interested in doing so if Attie's original series of photos was included, but to his disappointment, the magazine ran just a single full-page image of Attie's (another was later used as the cover of at least one paperback edition of the novella).
    More Details Hide Details The novella was published by Random House shortly afterwards. For Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's was a turning point, as he explained to Roy Newquist (Counterpoint, 1964): The "new book", In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences (1965), was inspired by a 300-word article that ran on page 39 of The New York Times on November 16, 1959 (reproduced below). The story described the unexplained murder of the Clutter family in rural Holcomb, Kansas. Fascinated by this brief news item, Capote traveled with Harper Lee to Holcomb and visited the scene of the massacre. Over the course of the next few years, he became acquainted with everyone involved in the investigation and most of the residents of the small town and the area. Rather than taking notes during interviews, Capote committed conversations to memory and immediately wrote quotes as soon as an interview ended. He claimed his memory retention for verbatim conversations had been tested at "over 90%". Lee made inroads into the community by befriending the wives of those Capote wanted to interview. Capote recalled his years in Kansas when he spoke at the 1974 San Francisco International Film Festival:
  • 1950
    Age 25
    In this period he also wrote an autobiographical essay for Holiday Magazine—one of his personal favorites—about his life in Brooklyn Heights in the late 1950's, entitled Brooklyn Heights: A Personal Memoir (1959).
    More Details Hide Details In November, 2015, The Little Bookroom issued a new coffee-table edition of that work, which includes David Attie's previously-unpublished portraits of Capote as well as Attie's street photography taken in connection with the essay, entitled "Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir, With The Lost Photographs of David Attie." This edition was well-reviewed in America and overseas, and was also a finalist for a 2016 Indie Book Award. Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories (1958) brought together the title novella and three shorter tales: "House of Flowers", "A Diamond Guitar" and "A Christmas Memory". The heroine of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly, became one of Capote's best known creations, and the book's prose style prompted Norman Mailer to call Capote "the most perfect writer of my generation". The novella itself was originally supposed to be published in Harper's Bazaar's July, 1958 issue, several months before its publication in book form by Random House. But the publisher of Harper's, the Hearst Corporation, began demanding changes to Capote's tart language, which he reluctantly made because he had liked the photos by David Attie and the design work by Harper's art director Alexey Brodovitch that were to accompany the text. But despite his compliance, Hearst ordered Harper's not to run the novella anyway. Its language and subject matter were still deemed "not suitable", and there was concern that Tiffany's, a major advertiser, would react negatively.
  • 1949
    Age 24
    When Warhol moved to New York in 1949, he made numerous attempts to meet Capote, and Warhol's fascination with the author led to Warhol's first New York one-man show, Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote at the Hugo Gallery (June 16 – July 3, 1952).
    More Details Hide Details When the picture was reprinted along with reviews in magazines and newspapers, some readers were amused, but others were outraged and offended. The Los Angeles Times reported that Capote looked "as if he were dreamily contemplating some outrage against conventional morality". The novelist Merle Miller issued a complaint about the picture at a publishing forum, and the photo of "Truman Remote" was satirized in the third issue of Mad (making Capote one of the first four celebrities to be spoofed in Mad). The humorist Max Shulman struck an identical pose for the dustjacket photo on his collection, Max Shulman's Large Economy Size (1948). The Broadway stage revue New Faces (and the subsequent film version) featured a skit in which Ronny Graham parodied Capote, deliberately copying his pose in the Halma photo. Random House featured the Halma photo in its "This is Truman Capote" ads, and large blowups were displayed in bookstore windows. Walking on Fifth Avenue, Halma overheard two middle-aged women looking at a Capote blowup in the window of a bookstore. When one woman said, "I'm telling you: he's just young", the other woman responded, "And I'm telling you, if he isn't young, he's dangerous!" Capote delighted in retelling this anecdote.
  • 1947
    Age 22
    A 1947 Harold Halma photograph used to promote the book showed a reclining Capote gazing fiercely into the camera.
    More Details Hide Details Gerald Clarke, in Capote: A Biography (1988), wrote, "The famous photograph: Harold Halma's picture on the dustjacket of Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948) caused as much comment and controversy as the prose inside. Truman claimed that the camera had caught him off guard, but in fact he had posed himself and was responsible for both the picture and the publicity." Much of the early attention to Capote centered on different interpretations of this photograph, which was viewed as a suggestive pose by some. According to Clarke, the photo created an "uproar" and gave Capote "not only the literary, but also the public personality he had always wanted." The photo made a huge impression on the 20-year-old Andy Warhol, who often talked about the picture and wrote fan letters to Capote.
  • 1946
    Age 21
    After A Tree of Night, Capote published a collection of his travel writings, Local Color (1950), which included nine essays originally published in magazines between 1946 and 1950.
    More Details Hide Details "A Christmas Memory", a largely autobiographical story taking place in the 1930s, was published in Mademoiselle magazine in 1956. It was issued as a hard-cover stand alone edition in 1966 and has since been published in many editions and anthologies. Sometime in the 1940s, Capote wrote a novel set in New York City about the summer romance of a socialite and a parking lot attendant. Capote later claimed to have destroyed the manuscript of this novel; but twenty years after his death, in 2004, it came to light that the manuscript had been retrieved from the trash back in 1950 by a house sitter at an apartment formerly occupied by Capote. The novel was published in 2006 by Random House under the title Summer Crossing. The film rights to Summer Crossing were purchased by actress Scarlett Johansson and a cinematic version is in the works. Veteran writers Tristine Skyler and T. Rafael Cimino have been enlisted to craft the screenplay. The film will mark Johansson's directorial debut.
    In the spring of 1946, Capote was accepted at Yaddo, the artists and writers colony at Saratoga Springs, New York. (He later endorsed Patricia Highsmith as a Yaddo candidate, and she wrote Strangers on a Train while she was there.)
    More Details Hide Details During an interview for The Paris Review in 1957, Capote said this of his short story technique: Random House, the publisher of his novel Other Voices, Other Rooms (see below), moved to capitalize on this novel's success with the publication of A Tree of Night and Other Stories in 1949. In addition to "Miriam", this collection also includes "Shut a Final Door", first published in The Atlantic Monthly (August 1947).
  • 1943
    Age 18
    Between 1943 and 1946, Capote wrote a continual flow of short fiction, including "Miriam", "My Side of the Matter", and "Shut a Final Door" (for which he won the O.
    More Details Hide Details Henry Award in 1948, at the age of 24). His stories were published in both literary quarterlies and well-known popular magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Magazine, Mademoiselle, The New Yorker, Prairie Schooner and Story. In June 1945, "Miriam" was published by Mademoiselle and went on to win a prize, Best First-Published Story, in 1946.
    While still attending Franklin in 1943, Capote began working as a copyboy in the art department at The New Yorker, a job he held for two years before being fired for angering poet Robert Frost.
    More Details Hide Details Years later, he reminisced, "Not a very grand job, for all it really involved was sorting cartoons and clipping newspapers. Still, I was fortunate to have it, especially since I was determined never to set a studious foot inside a college classroom. I felt that either one was or wasn't a writer, and no combination of professors could influence the outcome. I still think I was correct, at least in my own case." He left his job to live with relatives in Alabama and began writing his first novel, Summer Crossing. Capote based the character of Idabel in Other Voices, Other Rooms on his Monroeville neighbor and best friend, Harper Lee. Capote once acknowledged this: "Mr. and Mrs. Lee, Harper Lee's mother and father, lived very near. She was my best friend. Did you ever read her book, To Kill a Mockingbird? I'm a character in that book, which takes place in the same small town in Alabama where we lived. Her father was a lawyer, and she and I used to go to trials all the time as children. We went to the trials instead of going to the movies." After the Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Lee in 1961 and Capote published In Cold Blood in 1966, the authors became increasingly distant from each other.
  • 1942
    Age 17
    When they returned to New York City in 1942, he attended the Franklin School, an Upper West Side private school now known as the Dwight School, and graduated in 1943.
    More Details Hide Details That was the end of his formal education.
  • 1939
    Age 14
    In 1939, the Capote family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, and Truman attended Greenwich High School, where he wrote for both the school's literary journal, The Green Witch, and the school newspaper.
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  • 1935
    Age 10
    In 1935, he attended the Trinity School in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details He then attended St. Joseph Military Academy.
  • 1933
    Age 8
    In 1933, he moved to New York City to live with his mother and her second husband, Joseph Capote, a Cuban-born textile broker, who adopted him as his stepson and renamed him Truman García Capote.
    More Details Hide Details However, Joseph was convicted of embezzlement and shortly afterwards, when his income crashed, the family was forced to leave Park Avenue. Of his early days, Capote related, "I began writing really sort of seriously when I was about eleven. I say seriously in the sense that like other kids go home and practice the violin or the piano or whatever, I used to go home from school every day, and I would write for about three hours. I was obsessed by it."
  • 1924
    Born on September 30, 1924.
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