Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons, on Sept. 30, 1924, in New Orleans, La. Later, his mother married Joseph Garcia Capote, a businessman in the East. At about age 11, Truman began attending school there--first in New York City and later in Greenwich, Conn.
Truman was not very interested in school, but he did like to write. After graduating at 17, he went to New Orleans, then to New York City to write and work. In 1945 his stories began to appear in magazines. They won him two prizes. His first books were `Other Voices, Other Rooms' (published in 1948), a novel about an adolescent boy in a run- down Southern mansion, and `A Tree of Night' (1949), a collection of stories.
Capote rewrote his fantasy `The Grass Harp' (1951) as a play (1952). He also wrote the book and lyrics for a musical comedy, `House of Flowers' (1954). Capote's short novel `Breakfast at Tiffany's' (1958), was received extremely well, and made into a movie in 1961. In 1966 a television presentation of his short story "A Christmas Memory" won a Peabody award.
Capote became interested in the brutal murder of a Kansas farm family. For several years he dug up the facts, talking to everyone connected with the killing. The result was `In Cold Blood' (1966), which was based on fact, but read like suspense fiction and became immensely popular. It was produced as a movie (1967). `Then It All Came Down' (1976) also deals with crime and criminal justice. Capote also produced `Music for Chameleons' (1980), a mixed collection of short stories, essays, and journalistic reporting.
Truman Capote died in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 25, 1984.