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Celebrities with Lupus: Flannery O’Connor

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Updated August 11, 2008

The famous American author was born on March 25, 1925. Her father, Edward, died from lupus complications in 1941, when O’Connor was 15. The event was powerful, and O’Connor spoke little of her father for years afterward.

She graduated with a degree in social sciences in 1945 from the Georgia State College for Women and entered the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop a year later.

O’Connor was diagnosed with lupus in 1951 and told she had about five years to live. She lived for another 15. It was during this time that she wrote more than two dozen short stories and two novels. She died at age 39 from lupus complications.

Considered one of America’s greatest literary figures, O’Connor wrote in the Southern Gothic style and set much of her work in the South. Her novels include Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, and she is perhaps best known for her short story A Good Man is Hard to Find, considered one of the greatest short stories of the 20th Century.

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