Happy Birthday, Truman Capote
The writer we know as Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons on September 30, 1924 in New Orleans. Although he grew up in the South, he and his family moved to New York in 1933, where he lived until moving to Connecticut in 1939. In 1942 the family returned to New York, and soon he began working at The New Yorker.
In the 1940s Capote wrote mainly short stories, but is most remembered for his later works, 1958’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s and 1959’s In Cold Blood. He had complex relationships with fellow Greenwich Village residents and habitués like Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal and Andy Warhol.
Capote was a fixture on the Village scene, often found at places like the San Remo Café or CBGB‘s. He once criticized author and Greenwich Village legend Jack Kerouac’s work, saying “That’s not writing, that’s typing.” He once referred to New York writer Jacqueline Susann as a “truck driver in drag” but later apologized, to truck drivers.
And in the 2005 film Capote, the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, a West Village resident, portrayed Truman Capote and won an Oscar for his performance. Truman Capote, like Greenwich Village itself, was one of a kind.