Posted on 07/24/2020 at 02:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Most of us know O. Henry as the author of the classic short story “The Gift of the Magi.”
Perhaps fewer know him as a man who spent three years in prison for embezzlement, leaving after a three-year sentence on this day in 1901.
Henry — or, rather, William Sydney Porter — had written for newspapers before his time on the lam and then in prison; he returned to writing while incarcerated so that he could provide financially for his daughter.
He built up a loyal fan base during those years and emerged as O. Henry, becoming the master of the surprise ending that we know today.
Read more about his life in Encyclopedia Britannica.