Nelle Harper Lee Biography


Nelle Harper Lee has published one novel, TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD. There is no doubt that TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was a emotional story of racial injustice in the South as well as a story about children growing up and learning about life. This book shows how life really was for some but gives a vivid picture to all. The book takes place during the Great Depression. The book seems to come to life as you read it.

Birth/Vital Statistics:

Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28.1926. She was born in Monroe, Alabama . She is the youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Finch Lee. She also has a brother named Edwin Coleman Lee. Education:

Nelle Harper Lee received her early education in the Monroeville public schools. Following this, she entered the University of Alabama to study law, but left in 1950 without having completed the requirements for her law degree. She moved to New York and worked as an airline reservation clerk. Her law studies proved to be good training for a writing career: they promote logical thinking, and legal cases are an excellent source of story ideas. After she came to New York, she approached a literary agent with a manuscript of two essays and three short stories. Miss Lee followed his suggestion that she expand one of the stories into a novel. This eventually became To Kill A Mockingbird.

Growing up:

Nelle Harper Lee’s father practiced as a lawyer and served as a state senator. She grew up as the youngest out of 4 children, and was the only one to pursue a literary career. She was a town boy and liked to do boy things. She was always an intelligent and an observant child. She alaways got into fights. Scout is almost a mirror image of Harper Lee. Harper Lee used Scout as an aspect of herself.

Literary Life:

When Harper Lee was younger she read and wrote a lot. Harper Lee attended Huntingdon College 1944-45, studied law at the University of Alabama 1945-49, and studied one year at Oxford University. In the 1950s she worked as a reservation clerk with Eastern Air Lines and BOAC in New York City.

In order to concentrate on writing, Harper Lee gave up her position with the airline and moved into a cold-water apartment with makeshift furniture. Her father's sudden illness forced her to divide her time between New York and Monroeville, a practice she has continued.

In 1957 Harper Lee submitted the manuscript of her novel to the J. B. Lippincott Company. She was told that her novel consisted of a series of short stories strung together, and she was urged to rewrite it. For the next two and a half years she reworked the manuscript with the help of her editor, Tay Hohoff, and in 1960 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was published, her only published book. In 1961 she had two articles published: "Love - In Other Words" in Vogue, and "Christmas To Me" in McCall's. "Christmas To Me" is the story of Harper Lee receiving the gift of a year's time for writing from friends. "When Children Discover America" was published in McCall's in 1965. In June of 1966, Harper Lee was one of two people named by President Johnson to the National Council of Arts. Also named to the 26 member council was artist Richard Diebenkorn Jr.

There has not been as much published on the doings of Nelle Harper Lee since 1966.


In conclusion, Harper Lee has an incredible way of bringing a book to life through her defined characters. She presents a controversial subject in a casual environment, inhabiting individuals of contrasting views. Each character plays a significant role, and contributes to the reinforcement of her themes. She uses life experiences, world problems, and unique phrasing to produce an exceptional work of literature that will be recognized forever as brilliant.