O. Henry (the pen name of William S. Porter) wrote over 300 stories. The Gift of the Magi and The Ransom of Red Chief are two of his most famous. On September 11, 2012 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth, the U.S. Postal Service issued a First Class Forever Stamp. The dedication was at the Greensboro Historical Museum in North Carolina, the city of his birth. The stamp's artist is Cap Pannell and the art director and designer is Ethel Kessler.
In addition to skill in writing, Porter was a good singer and played the guitar and mandolin. At one time he was a member of the Hill City Quartet, a musical group that played in and around Austin Texas.
He was working in a bank when he was charged with embezzlement. At first he attempted to avoid jail by running off to Honduras. While he was there he wrote Cabbages and Kings in which he used the term "banana republic" thus launching the phrase commonly used today. He came back home when his wife was dying and was sent to jail.
Fortunately when he was 19 years old he had become a licensed pharmacist, a profession that stood him in good stead while incarcerated. He got to work in the prison infirmary and live in a room near it rather than having to spend time in a cell. In his free time he wrote. He published 14 stories during the three years he spent in jail, using different pseudonyms. It was during this period that the pen name O. Henry came into being.
He was 47 when he died on June 5, 1910. He was a heavy drinker and had cirrhosis of the liver as well as diabetes.
Japanese Stamps Feature Peter Rabbit and Other Beatrix Potter Characters
On March 31, 2011 Japan Post issued two sheets of stamps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Japanese-language publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The twenty stamps making up the series depict some of Beatrix Potter's most memorable and beloved scenes and characters.
The Grinnell Missionaries - Stamp Collecting's Greatest Controversy
First seen in 1919 when high school teacher and stamp collector George Grinnell claimed to have discovered dozens of rare early Hawaiian stamps, the Grinnell Missionaries have become perhaps the longest running controversy in stamp collecting. To this day experts and collectors alike still debate whether they are clever forgeries or the find of a lifetime.
French Art Stamp Features American Painter Edward Hopper
Famous Edward Hopper painting Morning Sun is part of La Poste's long running Musee Imaginaire art stamp series.
Danny Thomas Entertainer and Humanitarian
Danny Thomas, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2012, was the beloved star of The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room for Daddy) television situation comdey and known for his roles in The Jazz Singer, and I'll See You In My Dreams. This First Class stamp was issued by the United States Post Office in his honor.
Tarzan Stamp a Tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Legacy
Tarzan of the Apes is featured on this 2012 US commemorative stamp honoring author Edgar Rice Burroughs. For Burroughs fans, the stamp was a long time coming. The stamp, associated cancels, first day covers, and other philatelic products, join a great heritage of Tarzan collectibles.