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Portis was born in 1933 and as a kid spent a lot of his time reading comics and watching movies. While he was in the Marines he found opportunities to read and write in his own time. He then pursued a formal education and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1958. He majored in journalism and later worked for the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the New York Herald Tribune as the London Bureau chief. While he worked for the newspaper he interviewed Malcolm X and author J.D. Salinger.
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Other than Norwood, which was made into a TV movie starring Glen Campbell and Joe Namath in the 70s, True Grit was his most famous work. It was first published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1968. Then it was adapted into a movie in 1969 starring John Wayne. After that adaptation, another film was made in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin in lead roles. The film grossed $171 million in North America and received ten Oscar nominations.
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Charles Portis led a quiet life considering his fame. He did win an award called the Oxford American’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Southern Literature. The last novel Portis published was Gringos in 1991. It was his fifth novel. Although that was his last long work of literature, Portis did go on to write short stories for The Atlantic in the 90s.
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