Truman Capote Net Worth At Death – How Did He Get Rich?

Truman Capote Net Worth At Death

Truman Capote has an estimated net worth of $10 Million at death. He was a trailblazing writer of Southern descent known for the works ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘In Cold Blood,’ among others. The majority of his income came from his career as a writer, novelist, screenwriter, actor and playwright.

Truman Capote was a professional writer whose debut novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, made waves. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) was adapted into a popular film, and In Cold Blood (1966) was a groundbreaking work in narrative non-fiction. Capote struggled with drug addiction and spent his later years pursuing celebrity. He died in Los Angeles, California, in 1984.

To calculate the net worth of Truman Capote, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as student loans and credit card debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Truman Capote
Net Worth: $10 Million
Monthly Salary: $100 Thousand+
Annual Income: $1 Million+
Source of Wealth: Writer, Novelist, Screenwriter, Actor, Playwright

Early Life and Education

Capote, the celebrated author, was born Truman Streckfus Persons on September 30, 1924, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Capote, one of the twentieth century’s most well-known writers, was as intriguing a character as the characters in his stories. His parents were an unusual couple — a small-town girl named Lillie Mae and a charming schemer named Arch — and they largely ignored their son, frequently leaving him in the care of others. Capote spent much of his childhood in Monroeville, Alabama, with his mother’s relatives.

Capote befriended a young Harper Lee in Monroeville. Capote was a sensitive boy who was teased by other kids for being a wimp, while Lee was a rough and tumble tomboy. Despite their differences, Lee found Capote to be a joy, referring to him as “a pocket Merlin” for his inventive and creative ways. These amusing pals had no idea that one day they would both become famous writers.

Capote had fun with his friends, but he also had to deal with his nightmare family life. Having seen little of his mother and father over the years, he often felt abandoned by them. One of the few times he piqued their interest was during their divorce, when they were each fighting for custody in order to hurt the other. Capote was finally able to live with his mother full-time in 1932, but the reunion did not go as planned. He relocated to New York City to live with her and Joe Capote, his new stepfather.

His once-adoring mother had changed dramatically once he began to see her on a daily basis. Lillie Mae — now Nina — could be cruel or kind to Truman at any time, and he never knew what to expect from her. She frequently mocked him for his effeminate behavior and for not being like other boys. Truman’s stepfather appeared to be a more stable personality in the house, but he was not interested in his assistance or support at the time. Nonetheless, his stepfather adopted him and changed his name to Truman Garcia Capote in 1935.

Capote was a mediocre student who did well in courses that he was interested in and paid little attention to those that did not. From 1933 to 1936, he attended a private boys’ school in Manhattan, where he charmed some of his classmates. Capote, an unusual child, had a talent for telling stories and entertaining others. His mother desired to make him more masculine and believed that enrolling him in a military academy would be the solution. Capote’s school year of 1936-1937 was a disaster. As the smallest cadet in his class, he was frequently picked on by the other cadets.

Capote began to gain attention for his schoolwork after returning to Manhattan. Some of his teachers remarked on his potential as a writer. The Capotes relocated to Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1939, where Truman enrolled in Greenwich High School. With his outgoing personality, he stood out among his classmates. Capote grew a group of friends who would frequently visit his house to smoke, drink, and dance in his room. He and his friends would also frequent nearby clubs. Capote and his good friend Phoebe Pierce would go to New York City and scheme their way into some of the most popular nightclubs, including the Stork Club and Café Society, in search of adventure as well as an escape.

Capote’s mother’s drinking began to worsen while he was living in Greenwich, making his home life even more unstable. Capote struggled in school and had to repeat the 12th grade at the Franklin School after returning to Manhattan with his family in 1942. Capote spent his nights out instead of studying, making friends with Oona O’Neill, the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill and writer Agnes Boulton, and her friend heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, among others.

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First Published Writings

Capote got his first job as a copyboy for The New Yorker magazine when he was still a teenager. Capote tried unsuccessfully to get his stories published in the publication during his time there. He left The New Yorker to write full-time and began the novel Summer Crossing, which he shelved to work on Other Voices, Other Rooms. Capote’s first successes were not novels, but rather a collection of short stories. Editor George Davis chose Capote’s story “Miriam,” about a strange little girl, for publication in Mademoiselle in 1945. Capote became close to his assistant Rita Smith, the sister of famous southern author Carson McCullers, in addition to Davis. Capote and McCullers were friends for a time after she introduced them.

Mary Louise Aswell, the fiction editor at Harper’s Bazaar, was drawn to Capote’s story in Mademoiselle. In October 1945, the magazine published “A Tree of Light,” another dark and eerie story by Capote. These stories, along with “My Side of the Story” and “Jug of Silver,” helped launch Capote’s career and gave him a foothold in the New York literary scene.

Capote received some help from Carson McCullers while working on his first novel. She assisted him in gaining admission to Yaddo, a well-known artists’ colony in New York State. Capote spent part of the summer of 1946 there, working on his novel and finishing the short story “The Headless Hawk,” which was published that fall by Mademoiselle. Capote also fell in love with Newton Arvin, a literary scholar and college professor. The bookish academic and the vivacious charmer made an intriguing couple. Capote’s wit, manner, and appearance captivated Arvin, as well as the majority of the others at Yaddo. Capote won the prestigious O. Henry Award for his short story “Miriam” the same year.

Career Highlights

Other Voices, Other Rooms, his first novel, was published in 1948 to mixed reviews. After his mother dies, a young boy is sent to live with his father in the work. His father’s house is a run-down old plantation. For a time, the boy does not see his father and must instead deal with his stepmother, her cousin, and some other unusual characters who live in this desolate place. While some critics criticized the story’s homosexual theme, many reviewers praised Capote’s writing abilities. The book did well, especially for a debut author.

Capote found love in 1948, in addition to receiving accolades and publicity. In 1948, he met author Jack Dunphy at a party, and the two began a 35-year relationship. Capote and Dunphy traveled extensively in the early years of their relationship. They traveled to Europe and other locations to work on their respective projects.

Capote followed the success of Other Voices, Other Rooms with A Tree of Light, a collection of short stories published in 1949. Not one to stay out of the spotlight for long, his travel essays were published in book form as Local Color in 1950. The Grass Harp, his much-anticipated second novel, was published in the fall of 1951. The fantastic story revolved around an unlikely group of characters who seek refuge from their troubles in a large tree. Capote adapted his novel for the stage at the request of Broadway producer Saint Subber. Cecil Beaton, Capote’s close friend, designed the sets and costumes. The comedy premiered in March 1952 and ran for 36 performances.

Capote landed some film work in 1953. He wrote some of the script for Jennifer Jones and Montgomery Clift’s film Stazione Termini (later renamed Indiscretion of an American Wife in the United States). Capote and Clift became friends during the filming in Italy. After that project was completed, Capote began working on the script for the John Huston-directed Beat the Devil, which starred Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, and Gina Lollobrigida. However, his best screenplay came years later, when he adapted Henry James’ novel The Turn of the Screw into The Innocents (1961).

Undaunted by his previous failure, Capote adapted “House of Flowers,” a story about a Haitian bordello, for the stage at Subber’s request. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1954, starring Pearl Bailey and starring Alvin Ailey and Diahann Carroll. Despite Capote’s and the show’s excellent performers’ best efforts, the musical failed to garner enough critical and commercial attention. It came to an end after 165 performances. Capote suffered a major personal loss the same year when his mother died.

Capote, who was always fascinated by the wealthy and social elite, became a popular figure in such circles. Among his friends were Gloria Guinness, Babe and Bill Paley (the founders of CBS Television), Jackie Kennedy and her sister Lee Radziwell, C. Z. Guest, and many others. Capote was once an outsider who was invited to cruise on their yachts and stay on their estates. He enjoyed hearing and sharing gossip. Capote began talking about a novel based on this jet-set world in the late 1950s, titled Answered Prayers.

Capote had another hit with Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1958. He delved into the life of Holly Golightly, a New York City party girl who relied on men to make ends meet. Capote had created a fascinating character within a well-crafted story with his usual style and panache. Three years later, a film adaptation starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly was released. Capote had hoped for Marilyn Monroe to play the lead role and was disappointed with the outcome.

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‘In Cold Blood’

Capote’s next major project began with an article for The New Yorker. He set out with his friend Lee to write about the impact of the Clutter family’s murder on their small Kansas farming community. They traveled to Kansas to interview residents, friends and family of the deceased, as well as investigators working to solve the crime. Truman’s flamboyant personality and style made it difficult for him to gain the favor of his subjects at first. Without the use of tape recorders, the two would write down their notes and observations at the end of each day and compare them.

Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the Clutters’ suspected killers, were apprehended in Las Vegas and brought back to Kansas during their stay in Kansas. Soon after their return in January 1960, Lee and Capote were able to interview the suspects. Lee and Capote returned to New York soon after. Capote began work on his article, which would eventually become the non-fiction masterpiece In Cold Blood. He also corresponded with the accused killers, attempting to elicit more information about themselves and the crime. Capote and Lee returned to Kansas for the murder trial in March 1960.

While the two were found guilty and sentenced to death, their execution was postponed due to a series of appeals. Hickock and Smith hoped that Capote would help them avoid the hangman’s noose, but were disappointed to learn that the book’s title, In Cold Blood, implied that the murders were premeditated.

Capote was exhausted by the process of writing this nonfiction masterpiece. He worked on it for years and still had to wait for the story to be resolved in the legal system. Hickock and Smith were finally executed at the Kansas State Penitentiary on April 14, 1965. Capote traveled to Kansas at their request to witness their deaths. He had refused to see them the day before, but he did pay Hickock and Smith a visit shortly before their executions. In Cold Blood was a huge commercial and critical success. Capote used a variety of literary techniques to bring this true story to life for his readers. It was first serialized in four issues of The New Yorker, with readers eagerly anticipating each riveting installment. In Cold Blood was an instant best-seller when it was published as a book.

While In Cold Blood brought him fame and fortune, Capote was never the same after the film. Digging into such dark territory had taken a psychological and physical toll on him. Capote, who was known to drink, began drinking more and taking tranquilizers to calm his frayed nerves. Over the years, his substance abuse issues worsened.

Final Years and Death

Despite his problems, Capote managed to pull off one of the twentieth century’s most significant social events. His Black and White Ball was a huge success, attracting his society friends, literary notables, and stars. On November 28, 1966, the event was held in the Plaza hotel’s Grand Ballroom, with publisher Katharine Graham as the honoree. Capote chose a dress code that required men to wear black tie, while women could wear either a black or white gown. Everyone was required to wear a mask. When actress Lauren Bacall danced with director and choreographer Jerome Robbins, it was one of the evening’s most memorable moments.

Those society friends who attended the ball were in for a nasty surprise several years later. Capote had a chapter from Answered Prayers published in Esquire magazine in 1976, which is regarded as one of the most notorious examples of biting the hand that feeds. “La Cote Basque, 1965” exposed many of his society friends’ secrets as thinly veiled fiction. Many of his friends abandoned him as a result of his betrayal. He claimed that he was taken aback by their reactions and was hurt by their rejection. Capote had moved on to the party scene at the famous club Studio 54 by the late 1970s, where he hung out with Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, and Liza Minnelli.

Capote’s relationship with Jack Dunphy was becoming strained by this point. Dunphy wanted Capote to stop drinking and using drugs, which Capote seemed unable to do despite numerous trips to rehabilitation centers over the years. While they were no longer physically intimate, the two remained close, spending time together at their Sagaponack, Long Island, neighbors’ homes.

Capote’s final major work, Music for Chameleons, was published in 1980 and was a collection of non-fiction and fictional pieces, including the novella Handcarved Coffins. Although the collection did well, Capote was clearly in decline, battling addictions and physical health issues.

Capote had two bad falls in his final year, another failed rehab stint, and a stay in a Long Island hospital for an overdose. Capote traveled to California to visit an old friend, Johnny Carson’s ex-wife Joanne Carson. On August 25, 1984, he died at her Los Angeles home.

Joanne Carson received some of her late friend Truman Capote’s ashes after his death. Capote’s ashes became part of Carson’s estate when she died in 2015, and in what some media observers saw as a fitting end for the headline-grabbing author, his remains were auctioned off in Los Angeles for $43,750 in September 2016. An unidentified buyer purchased Capote’s remains, which were kept in a wooden Japanese box. “With some celebrities, this wouldn’t be tasteful, but I know he’d love it,” Julien’s Auctions president Darren Julien told The Guardian. “He enjoyed generating press opportunities and seeing his name in the paper.” I believe he would be pleased that he is still making headlines today.”

Further Reading

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How To Become Rich Like Truman Capote?

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