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Gay History, Gay Celebrities, Gay Icons

Gay History celebrates the lives of famous gay men, gay celebrities and gay icons from the worlds of Film/TV, Art, Design, Music, Literature, Business and Politics. 200+ Intimate Profiles - Tchaikovsky to George Michael, Oscar Wilde to Truman Capote, Salvador Dali to David Hockney, Yves St Laurent to Gianni Versace, Rock Hudson to Stephen Fry to name but a few - they form a vast and exciting part of gay history.
Truman Capote

Life Span: Born 30th September 1924; Died 25th August 1984

Star Sign: Libra
Famous As: US novelist

Childhood: His original name was Truman Streckfus Persons. His family was of Spanish descent. He spent much of his childhood with eccentric relatives in Monroeville, Alabama. At the age of 9 he followed his mother to New York, and at the age of 11 he acquired the name Capote from his stepfather, Joe Capote, a Cuban businessman.

Education: Capote won several prizes for writing while at school in New York but showed little aptitude for other subjects.

Work: His short story 'Miriam' was published in the magazine Mademoiselle in June 1945 and was given the O Henry Memorial Award in 1946. Also in 1945 he had' A Tree of Night' published in Harper's Bazaar.
He was open about his homosexuality which was rare for the 1940s. His youthful good looks made him the centre of attention.
His first novel,' Other Voices, Other Rooms', (1948), centres on the homosexual awakenings of a young boy in a small town in the deep South.
He was also a successful journalist and wrote profiles and travel sketches, many of which first appeared in The New Yorker. His journalism was re-produced in 'Local Color', (1950), 'Selected Writings', (1963), 'The Dogs Bark', (1973), and 'Music for Chameleons', (1981). His 'The Muses Are Heard', (1956), was an account of a largely black company touring the Soviet Union with Porgy and Bess.
For his 'In Cold Blood', (1966), he investigated the seemingly senseless murder of a Kansas family by gaining the confidence of the murderers. The book made him famous and he made regular appearances on television. His wit and demeanour competed with that of Liberace's for the way in which it re-inforced the popular stereotype of homosexuals.
He became a society celebrity and his fame reached a peak with his Black and White Ball of 1966. The producer and agent Allan Carr organised a party for him in Los Angeles' abandoned Lincoln Heights gaol.
In the 1970s he subjected himself to bouts of drug taking and alcoholism. He visited all the gay bars and clubs in New York including 'Studio 54', 'The Anvil', and 'The Mineshaft'. He also wrote screenplays for films, and he wrote for the musical theatre with 'House of Flowers', however it was a failure.
He was represented by Jay Presson Allen's play 'Tru', (1990), in which Robert Morse played Capote in a Broadway production.

Greatest Achievements: His 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', (1958), was made into a highly successful f ilm in 1961, although it was sanitised and sentimentalised.

Friends & Relationships: In 1948 he met Jack Dunphy who was married but they became lovers for years and lifelong friends. In 1949 they travelled to Tangier and met Paul Bowles and his wife Jane Bowles.
However, he lost a lot of friends with the publication in Esquire in 1975 of gossip from his unfinished Answered Prayers. He also contributed to Andy Warhol's Interview in the 1970s. Some of the gossip was untrue and Gore Vidal sued him and won.

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