Who, along with his wife, gave Harper Lee the gift of a year’s wages so that she could quit her job “to write whatever you please”? – 2017

Who, along with his wife, gave Harper Lee the gift of a year’s wages so that she could quit her job “to write whatever you please”?



Michael Brown




Michael Brown (14 December 1920 – 11 June 2014) was a composer, lyricist, writer, director, producer, and performer. He was born in Mexia, Texas. His musical career began in New York cabaret, performing first at Le Ruban Bleu. In the 1960s, he was a producer of industrial musicals for major American corporations such as J.C. Penney and DuPont.





The couple was instrumental in the career of Harper Lee, whom Michael met through his friend Truman Capote. The Browns made it possible for Lee to work on To Kill a Mockingbird by giving her the gift of a year’s financial support in 1956 with the note: “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.” Harper Lee wrote about this Christmas gift in McCalls magazine in December 1961.

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