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Charles Portis, ‘True Grit’ author and Arkansas literary legend, passes

Arkansas Business reports legendary Arkansas author Charles Portis has passed away in Little Rock at the age of 86. The brother of Portis told the paper the writer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia in 2012.

Portis, an El Dorado-born newspaper reporter who transitioned into the world of fiction, wrote the classic Western, “True Grit,” which was adapted by Hollywood twice — once in 1969 with John Wayne and again in 2010 with Jeff Bridges.

Portis, who served with the Marines in the Korean War, started his journalism career working for papers such as the Commercial Appeal and the New York Herald Tribune. He began a career as a novelist with the 1966 publication of “Norwood,” which was also later adapted into a motion picture starring fellow Arkansan and Wayne’s “True Grit” co-star, Glen Campbell.

Portis went on to publish four more books of fiction (including “True Grit”), garnering a following of devoted fans and accolades throughout the literary world.

To read Arkansas Business’ in-depth look at the life of Charles Portis, click here.

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