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Eudora Alice Welty (April 13, 1909 – July 23, 2001) was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist’s Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Welty was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous awards including the Order of the South. She was the first living author to have her works published by the Library of America. Her house in Jackson, Mississippi has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as a house museum.
Eudora Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi on April 13, 1909, the daughter of Christian Webb Welty (1879–1931) and Mary Chestina (Andrews) Welty (1883–1966). She grew up with younger brothers Edward Jefferson and Walter Andrews. Eudora’s mother was a schoolteacher. Eudora soon developed a love of reading, reinforced by her mother who believed that “any room in our house, at any time in the day, was there to read in, or to be read to”.