November 8

Margaret Mitchell

November 8, 1900 - Atlanta, Augusta, Athens, Macon

She just wanted to be known as Mrs. John Marsh.

Margaret Mitchell was her maiden name. Born in Atlanta in 1900, she lived away from the city only once, for a year, at Smith College. Her grandfather fought in the Civil War; her mother’s family was Irish Catholic, like the O’Hara’s of Tara.

Mitchell went to work for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine in 1922, writing under the byline “Peggy Mitchell.” She married her second husband, John Marsh, in 1925. For 10 years, in a small apartment she dubbed “the dump,” she worked on a novel set in Atlanta during the Civil War.

Gone with the Wind was published in 1936. It sold more than 1 million copies in its first six months. Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, and then sold the movie rights to her book for $50,000 — the most money ever paid for a manuscript up to that time.

She died tragically in 1949, hit by a cab on her way to a movie.

The Georgian who wrote the best-selling novel in American publishing history was born on November 8, 1900, Today in Georgia History.