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Author Information: Truman Capote

 
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Truman García Capote (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) was born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans, Louisiana. After his parents divorced when he was four he was brought up by relatives in Monroeville, Alabama where he met Harper Lee. The two remained friends and neighbours and in Lee’s famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird Capote is portrayed as the character Dill.

In 1933 Capote’s mother married New York businessman Joseph Capote and after officially being adopted by his step father changed his name to Truman García Capote.

After the success of his early works, Capote began to move in higher and higher social circles. Unusual for the time he was openly gay, and would be seen with fellow authors, critics, business tycoons, philanthropists, Hollywood stars, theatrical celebrities, royalty and members of high society, both in the U.S. and abroad.

However eventually this was to lead to his downfall as Capote experimented with drugs and alcohol. By the early 1980’s, after a series of hallucinations, he largely disappeared from public life. Scans revealed that his brain had shrunk and according to the coroners report he died of "liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication" at the age of 59.

He remains a figure of great interest today. The recent biographical film Capote (2005) directed by Bennett Miller starred Philip Seymour Hoffman's as Capote and Catherine Keener as Harper Lee. Hoffman won an Academy Award and a BAFTA for Best Lead Actor and Keener was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress. The film Infamous (2006) which stars Toby Jones as Capote and Sandra Bullock as Harper Lee, is an adaptation of a 1997 George Plimpton book on Capote’s life.

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