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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 19 February 1880Ottumwa, Iowa, USA
Date of Death 12 April 1940New Haven, Connecticut, USA  (influenza)
Birth NameNora Bryant McCue

Mini Bio (1)

Nora Bryant McCue was born on February 19, 1880, at Ottumwa, Iowa, the daughter of William Dunbar and Lily Bryant Head McCue. Her family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, when she was a small child, where her father worked for a local railroad line and later as a clerk at the federal courthouse. Nora was the salutatorian of her senior class at Madison Central High School in 1898 and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in history. It was said that Nora, who was a tall, striking brunette, cut quite a figure on campus while walking Cedric, her Great Dane. Nora's father was appalled when a few years earlier she had spent $50 of her savings to purchase Cedric, then a two-month-old puppy.

On August 1, 1904, she married Henry Elmer Willsie (1875-1948), in Madison. Willsie was a consulting mining engineer and inventor who would later help develop a gas mask for the military during World War I. It was while she and her husband were living in Arizona that Nora began her writing career by submitting western stories and articles under the name "Honore Willsie" to Collier's magazine and Harper's Weekly. Her first novel, "Heart of the Desert: Kut-Le of the Desert", was published in 1913. The following year she began a five-year stint as editor of The Delineator, a women's magazine about "Fashion, Fine Arts and Culture".

She and Willsie divorced in December of 1922. On April 25, 1923, she married publisher William Morrow at her Gramercy Park home in New York City. Morrow, who was born on June 15, 1872, at Belfast, Ireland, would go to found the New York based publishing house William Morrow and Company. The couple later adopted three children-- a son, Richard, and two daughters, Felicia and Anne.

Through 10 years of meticulous research, she became an authority on the life of Abraham Lincoln and is best known for her "Great Captain" trilogy: "Forever Free" (1927), "With Malice Toward None" (1928) and "The Last Full Measure" (1930). She was also the author of "Benefits Forgot: A Story of Lincoln and Mother Love" (1917), "Forever Free" (1927) and "Mary Todd Lincoln: An Appreciation of the Wife of Abraham Lincoln " (1928).

Honore's other books include "Still Jim" (1915); "Lydia of the Pines" (1917); "The Forbidden Trail" (1919); "The Enchanted Canyon" (1921); "Judith of the Godless Valley" (1922); "The Devonshires" (1924); "The Exile of the Lariat" (1925); "We Must March" (1925); "The Father of Little Women" (1927), a biography of Bronson Alcott; "Splendor of God" (1929), a biography of Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson; "Just a Dog's Life" (1929), a biography of Cedric, her Great Dane; "Tiger Tiger" (1930), a biography of temperance leader John B. Gough; "Black Daniel: The Love Story of a Great Man" (1931), a story about Daniel Webster; "Judith of the Godless Valley" (1931) and "Yonder Sails the Mayflower" (1934). Her last book, "Demon Daughter" (1939), is thought to be based on one of her daughters who was somewhat neurotic.

The Morrows lived several months out every of year in a 16th-century estate in Brixham, a small town in the county of Devon, in southwest England. After her husband passed away on 11 November 1931, Honore and her three children lived there full time, for the next eight years.

Honore was visiting a sister, Mrs. Manley Chester, when she died on 12 April, 1940 of influenza at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, Connecticut. She was survived by all three of her children.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: John F. Barlow

Spouse (2)

William Morrow (1923 - 1931) (his death) (3 children)
Henry Elmer Willsie (1904 - 1922) (divorced)

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