was born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 8, 1900. She
entered Smith College in 1918, but left a year later to take care
of her father and brother after her mother passed away.
In 1922 she marred Berrien Upshaw, but the marriage lasted only a
few years. In that same year, she became a reporter for
The Atlanta Journal. There she met John Marsh, whom she
married in 1924.
An injury to her foot in 1926 required her to leave her job at the
newspaper. While she was convalescing, she began working
on GONE WITH THE WIND, typing on a portable typewriter balanced on
She told no one except her husband about the novel she was writing,
and she never expected it to be published. She stuffed
finished chapters in manila envelopes and hid them under the sofa,
the bed and any other place she could find in her small
One day, Lois Cole --- a friend of hers who worked for Macmillan
Publishing in New York --- told her boss, Harold Latham, about
Margaret's book. Latham went to Atlanta and met with
her, but she denied that she was writing a book. Just
before Latham was to return to New York, she had a change of
heart. She stuffed the envelopes into a suitcase, took
them to his hotel and gave them to him saying, "Take it before I
change my mind."
The book was published on June 30, 1936. Although the
reviews were mixed, one-half million copies of it were sold in the
six months after its publication. It was a featured
selection of the Book of the Month Club in July 1936. In
May 1937 Margaret Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for GONE
WITH THE WIND. A few years later the movie was made into
a motion picture starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.
On August 11, 1949, while crossing a street in downtown Atlanta,
Margaret Mitchell was hit by a speeding taxi. She died
five days later.