Harper Lee
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Nelle Harper Lee (1926 - 2016)

Nelle Harper (Harper) Lee
Born in Monroeville, Monroe, Alabamamap
Ancestors ancestors
Sister of , and [private brother (1920s - 1950s)]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Monroeville, Monroe, Alabama, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Oct 2014
This page has been accessed 1,840 times.


Notables Project
Harper Lee is Notable.

Father Amasa Cole “A.C.” Lee

Mother Frances Cunningham Finch Lee

Nelle Harper Lee, daughter of Amasa Cole “A.C.” Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee, was born April 28, 1926 at Monroeville, Alabama. Nelle was the youngest of four children: Alice (b. 1911), Francis (b. 1916), and Edwin (b. 1920).[1]

Nelle was a rebellious child, but she did have a good friend next door; Truman Streckfus Persons, later Truman Capote, after his mother remarried. In high school she was fortunate to have a gifted English teacher, Gladys Watson-Burkett, who challenged her to read fine literature and become an extraordinary writer.

She spent her freshman year of college at Huntingdon College, a Methodist school for women in Montgomery, but transferred to the University of Alabama in 1945. Despite her father’s hopes that she would become an attorney like her older sister Alice and practice in Monroeville, Nelle went to New York in 1949 to become a writer.

To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 to highly favorable reviews and quickly climbed the bestseller lists to where it remained for over 80 weeks. In 1961, the novel was awarded the Pulitzer prize. A film adaptation was released in 1962 starring Gregory Peck and received three Academy Awards.

She went on to write additional successful novels and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.[2]. However, she remained a very private person, living out her life in her hometown.[3]

She died 19 February 2016 in Monroeville, Alabama.[4][5][6]


  1. https://www.mckinneytexas.org/index.aspx?NID=1015
  2. Encyclopedia Britannica
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Obituary
  5. http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-harper-lee-dies-20160219-story.html
  6. http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-alice-lee-20141123-story.html

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Harper by comparing test results with other carriers of her ancestors' mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Harper:

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She was not always sure she even had a story, while writing. 5 years after she started she thought maybe she should have just became a lawyer and not tried becoming an author. She threw it out the window and watched as it spread out all over the dirt and snow. No one knows what her editor said when she called him immediately after doing so, but when she hung up, she went right out and collected all the pages to save it. She rewrote it repeatedly. The Library of Congress says it is second only to the bible when discussed as making a difference. She is quoted "I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

Meltzer, Brad, Heroes for my son, pgs 88-89, Harper Collins Publishing

posted by Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy