Eudora Welty was born in Jackson, Miss., on April 13, 1909. In 1925, she attended the Mississippi State College for Women, but later transferred to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She spent an academic year in New York City, studying at the Columbia University School of Business. The untimely death of her father in 1931 prompted her return to Jackson, where she worked for the local radio station and wrote society news for the Commercial Appeal, a Northwest Mississippi newspaper.
In 1935 and 1936, Welty worked for Franklin Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a junior publicity agent and traveled around Mississippi promoting new roads, airstrips, canning factories and economic development. In 1936, she published her first short story.
Welty continued to write for publication into her mid-seventies. Her most acclaimed work, "The Optimist's Daughter," won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.
Welty published her memoir, "One Writer's Beginnings" in 1984. She ends the book by writing, "As you have seen, I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within."
She died on July 23, 2001, at the age of 92.
Follow the story of Welty's life, from her upbringing in Mississippi to her renowned acclaim as an author.
The Mississippi Writers Page
This site offers an overview of her life and critical review of some of her books. You'll also find a complete list of her works, including nonfiction titles.
New York Times
Read reviews of Welty's early books and interviews with the author from the archives of the New York Times.