Author Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell - Author of "Gone with the Wind"

Some interesting facts about Margaret:

  • Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was born November 8, 1900, in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Both her parents were attorneys. Her mother, Mary Isabel Stephens, was also a suffragist.
  • Her paternal grandfather served in the Civil War for the Confederate Army and served in Hood’s Texas Brigade.
  • As a child, Margaret lived on Jackson Hill, just east of downtown Atlanta.
  • When she was 3 years old her dress caught fire on an iron gate, so her mother began dressing her in boy’s pants.
  • Margaret grew up listening to Civil War stories from her family and didn’t learn that the South actually lost the war until she was 10 years old.
  • She moved from Jackson Hill in 1912. That former Jackson Hill home was destroyed in the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917.
  • Two of Margaret’s favorite children’s books were “Five Children and It” and “The Phoenix and the Carpet.”
  • As an adult, she kept copies on her shelf and gave them away as gifts.
  • She grew up reading the Tom Swift and the Rover Boys series.
  • Young Margaret wrote stories about animals, then fairy tales and adventure stories. She began adding cardboard book covers, binding, and artwork.
  • When she was 11, the name she gave her publishing undertaking was “Urchin Publishing.”
  • Schooling in Margaret’s teen years was at a fashionable private girl’s school, Washington Seminary in Atlanta.
  • She was active in drama, wrote plays, and was encouraged for her storytelling talent.
  • Her mother died of the Spanish flu in 1919.
  • After her mother died she left college, Smith College in Massachusetts, to run the household. She never went back to college.
  • Margaret began using the name “Peggy” while at Smith College, later changing to “Peg.”
  • Over her lifetime she was engaged to 5 men. Peggy married John Marsh in 1925 and lived in Atlanta.
  • She was a journalist for the Atlanta Journal Sunday magazine. She worked there less than 4 years and quit to become a full time wife, but she wrote 129 feature articles, 85 news stories, and a number of book reviews.
  • Mitchell wrote “Gone with the Wind” on a Remington Portable No 3 typewriter, purchased by her husband to aid her literary endeavors.
  • The original name for Scarlett O’Hara, the heroine of “Gone with the Wind,” was Pansy O’Hara.
  • The novel, published in 1936, made Mitchell an instant celebrity and won her a Pulizter Prize.
  • During WW II she volunteered for the Red Cross and sold war bonds.
  • Margaret Mitchell was killed when a car struck her while she was on her way with her husband to see the movie “A Canterbury Tale” on August 11, 1949. She died 5 days later.
  • The driver of the car, Hugh Gravitt, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in November 1949 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. He served 11.
  • Mitchell was inducted into the Georgia Women of Achievement in 1994, and into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2000.