December 28, 1933
Author Charles Portis was born in El Dorado (Union County). He is best known for the western novel True Grit, which has sold copies into the millions. It was made into a movie in 1969 with an Oscar-winning performance by John Wayne, and it was remade in 2010, directed by the Coen brothers. A long-time resident of Little Rock (Pulaski County), Portis gained some notoriety and financial independence from film and paperback rights, but he has consistently avoided the public spotlight. Several prominent critics and fellow writers—including Larry McMurtry, Roy Blount Jr., and Nora Ephron—have heaped their praises on Portis, who is considered a “writer’s writer.” In 2010, Portis was honored with the Oxford American’s first Lifetime Achievement in Southern Literature award.