On this day in 1900, Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind (1936), is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mitchell worked as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal for six years. She quit after an ankle injury limited her mobility, and she devoted herself to her novel about the South during and after the Civil War. Her tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the shallow Southern belle transformed into ruthless survivor during the war, became the biggest American publishing sensation of its day. The book sold 1 million copies in its first six months in print, 8 million by the time Mitchell died in 1949, and at least 25 million more to date.
The book was made into an Oscar-winning movie in 1939. In 1988, Warner Books purchased the rights to a Gone with the Wind sequel. The book, titled Scarlett, was written by Alexandra Ripley and published in 1991. Though not a critical success, the book became a bestseller and was made into a TV miniseries.