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Harper Lee was born April 28th, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama to Amasa Lee and Frances Finch. As the youngest of four children, Lee grew up as the tomboy in a small town. Her father was a lawyer and he owned part of the local newspaper. Her mother suffered from a mental illness and spent most of her days in her house, some people believed that she had a bipolar disorder. One of Lee’s closest friends was Truman Capote who was also a writer to be. Lee was Capote’s protector in school because he was picked on for being sensitive and for wearing fancy clothes. In high school Lee found a passion in english literature and writing.
After graduating in 1944 she went to the all-female Huntingdon college in Montgomery. She didn’t really care for fashion, makeup and dating she focused on her writing. She was also a member of the literary honor society and the glee club. When she transferred to the University of Alabama she was known for being a loner although she did join a sorority there for a while. Pursuing her love for writing Lee was apart of the schools newspaper and its humor magazine The Rammer Jammer eventually becoming the publication’s editor. In her junior year Lee was accepted into the university’s law school. She took the opportunity but as she continued her studies she had to leave her post as The Rammer Jammer editor. After her first year in the program Lee began expressing that writing was her true calling not the law.
She went to Oxford University in England as an exchange student that summer. When she came back she dropped out of her law class and moved up north to pursue her career as a writer. Lee moved to New York in 1949. She struggled for several years working as a flying agent. While she lived in New York she ran into Truman Capote who was a rising author at the time. She had also become friends with Michael Martin Brown and his wife Joy, Mr.Brown was a broadway composer and a lyricist. In 1956 the browns gave Lee an impressive christmas present they were going to support her for a year just so she could get started as a writer.
Lee quit her job immediately and began writing. The Browns also helped her find an agent, Maurice Crain. Lee working with editor Tay Hohoff they were able to start a manuscript which eventually became Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird
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