- William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), better known by his pen name, O. Henry, was an American short story writer.
- Before throwing himself in literature, he had a troubled life. His mother died when he was 3, and his father had a serious problem with alcoholism. At the age of fifteen he left school and then had a number of jobs. In 1887, he married Athol Estes Roach but the happiness did not last long when his wife died ten years later. His life was even worst when he was found guilty of embezzling money in 1897 and sentenced to five years in prison. After being released, he moved to New York and became a great short-story writer.
- In 1906, he published the second collection, “The four million”, including “the Gift of the Magi”. It is said that these unforgettable experiences had inspired him to create such a unique and heart touching stories.
- Most of his stories have suspense in them and ends with an unexpected twist.
- O. Henry has been recognized among the greatest American authors by his great devotion to American literature.
- Nearly 200 short stories published have gained the notice of the public as well as created the lasting popularity of O Henry’s literary style.
- With the huge and unique collection of short stories, he is deserved to be called "one of the greatest masters of modern literature".
- "The Last Leaf" is an interesting story about the supreme sacrifice of a less known old artist (Behrman), who saves the life of a young artist (Johnsy), with his 'masterpiece'.