His parents named him Alfred Damon Runyan.
But the world knew him as Damon Runyon, American short-story writer and humorist. The spelling change in his surname resulted from an editor's mistake early in his career.
Runyon was born in 1880 in Manhattan. His father was publisher of newspapers in several small towns, including Manhattan, Clay Center and Wellington.
The Runyan family moved to Pueblo, Colo., when Damon was 7. His mother died that year. Eventually, his father became an alcoholic, his three sisters were sent to live with grandparents in Kansas, and Runyon was left on his own.
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At age 15, he worked as a reporter for the Pueblo Evening Express, where the name change took place. Once he saw the new spelling, he took a liking to it and kept it.
In 1898, he enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve in the Spanish-American War and was sent to the Philippines.
After the war, Runyon worked as a sportswriter for the Denver Post and then, in 1911, moved to New York City, where he worked for papers owned by William Randolph Hearst.
As a sportswriter, he covered Yankee Stadium, Ebbets Field, Madison Square Garden and the racetrack at Saratoga.
"He did something practically nobody else could do. He put a smile into a newspaper, which usually has as much humor as a bus accident," wrote his friend, Jimmy Breslin, in his book, "Damon Runyon."
Runyon's stories were published in Cosmopolitan and Collier's magazines. A collection of his stories gained him Broadway fame in 1950 and was later made into a movie.
Question: What was the name of the show?
Answer to Wednesday’s question: William S. Burroughs. While in Kansas, Burroughs wrote “Place of the Dead Roads" in 1984 and "The Western Lands" in 1987. He also began a second career as a visual artist as well as writing screenplays, appearing in films ("Drugstore Cowboy" and "Twister"), writing an opera text, and even appearing in a Nike television ad.
Check back at Kansas.com Friday for the answer to today’s question.