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.
Life Span: Born
30th September 1924; Died 25th August 1984
Star Sign: Libra
Famous As: US
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.
Capote won several prizes for writing while at
school in New York but showed little aptitude
for other subjects.
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
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
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
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
He was represented by Jay Presson Allen's play
'Tru', (1990), in which Robert Morse played Capote
in a Broadway production.
His 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', (1958), was made
into a highly successful f
ilm in 1961, although
it was sanitised and sentimentalised.
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
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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