Horton Foote

Literary Birthday – 14 March – Horton Foote

Horton Foote was born 14 March 1916 and died 4 March 2009.


  1. If I ever teach writing again, I’d say the first lesson is to listen.
  2. You have to watch out with my plays. They’re like yeast. You think they’re one thing, then all of a sudden subtext gets to working.
  3. But I don’t really write to honour the past. I write to investigate, to try to figure out what happened and why it happened, knowing I’ll never really know. I think all the writers that I admire have this same desire, the desire to bring order out of chaos.
  4. When you’re a writer, you have to write these stories, even if you don’t get paid.
  5. I’m a social writer in the sense that I want to record, but not in the sense of trying to change people’s minds.
  6. Writing is the thing that props me up.

Horton Foote was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist and Oscar-winning screenwriter. He won Academy Awards for his adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and for his screenplay Tender Mercies (1983). Other scripts include his adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men (1992), and Old Man (1997), a made-for-television movie based on The Wild Palms by William Faulkner. He also wrote Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas Childhood. He received a Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998, the Writer’s Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement award in 1999, and the PEN American Center’s Master American Dramatist Award in 2000.

Source for screenshot/Source for quotes

 by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar