Eudora Welty (April 13, 1909 - July 23, 2001) was born in Jackson, Mississippi and she lived a significant portion of her life in the city's Belhaven neighborhood, where her home has been preserved. She was educated at the Mississippi State College for Women (now called Mississippi University for Women), the University of Wisconsin, and Columbia University. During the 1930s, Welty worked as a photographer for the Works Progress Administration. This job sent her all over the state of Mississippi taking photographs of people from all economic and social classes. Collections of her photographs are One Time, One Place, and Photographs.
But Welty's true love was language, not photography, and she soon devoted her energy to writing fiction. Her first short story, "Death of a Traveling Salesman," appeared in 1936 and in 1941 she published her first collection of short stories, A Curtain of Green. Her novel, The Optimist's Daughter, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.
The Canadian writer, Alice Munro, has said that Welty's "A Worn Path" is perhaps the most perfect short story ever written.
Eudora Welty died of pneumonia in Jackson. The e-mail client Eudora was named after her (in reference to her short story "Why I Live at the P.O.").