Porter was born on September 11, 1862 in North Carolina, but moved to Texas in the 1880s. He worked as a draftsman, a bookkeeper, a bank teller and a newspaper columnist until 1898, when he was sent to prison for embezzlement (from his days as a teller in Austin). After more than three years in jail, O. Henry moved to New York to work full time as a writer.
O'Henry wrote colorful short stories with surprising and ironic twists. He wrote in a humorous style and, as in "The Gift of the Magi," often ironically used coincidences and surprise endings. William pioneered in picturing the lives of lower-class and middle-class New Yorkers.
His most famous works are: "The Gift of the Magi", "The Ransom of Red Chief", "A Retreived Reformation". O'Henry's most representative collection was probably The Four Million.
He died on June 5, 1910.
On September 2012 there has been the 150th anniversary since the birth of O.Henry. Watch this video - a piece of news about the celebration of his birthday.
I also like these creative quotations from O'Henry.