Biography

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell 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 her lap.  

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 house.

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.

Margaret Mitchell

Books by Margaret Mitchell