Paul Porter, Jr. (1921-2012), was Katherine Anne Porter’s nephew, the son of her brother Harrison Paul Porter, Sr. Born and raised in Houston, TX, he served in Europe during WWII, attended UCLA afterward, and briefly returned to Houston. Thereafter, he worked as executive assistant to the president of a shopping center development firm in New York City before retiring to Texas in 1986.
Porter first met her nephew Paul in 1937, and they began corresponding frequently in 1938. They continued to write one another regularly until her health interfered, and their correspondence demonstrates their devoted and mutually beneficial relationship. She encouraged his artistic aspirations and often shared her opinions about music, art, and literature with him. The letters also reveal that she relied upon and trusted him to help manage her affairs, and he served as her guardian after she was ruled incompetent in 1977.
Many of the letters included in the archive come from the Paul Porter Papers. Paul Porter, Jr., sold a considerable portion of their correspondence to the University of Maryland in 1982, and Paul donated additional materials until his death in 2012.
Katherine Anne Porter (left), Paul Porter, Jr. (center), Ann Holloway Heintze (right), and David Porter Heintze (far right) at a picnic table, possibly New York, New York, Summer 1953. Katherine Anne Porter Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland Libraries.