Author and Retired Fisherman James Henry Dies at Age 99

At 91 Henry learned to read and at 98 he published his first book, ‘In a Fisherman’s Language.’


Retired Stonington fisherman Captain James Arruda Henry has died at the age of 99.

Henry died early Sunday morning at the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut after suffering from pneumonia, according to the Associated Press.

Henry learned to read and write in his 90s. When he published his first book, "In a Fisherman’s Language," at age 98, his inspirational story gained national attention. In December of 2011, Congressman Joe Courtney honored Henry on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and in June of 2012 President Barack Obama sent Henry a letter of commendation.

“I always wanted to learn to read and write,” Henry told a group of Ledyard third graders when his letter of commendation from the White House was read in their class. “I used to cry because I wanted to go to school, I never had the opportunity to learn.”

Henry was inspired to learn to read after hearing of George Dawson, author of "Life is so Good,” who also learned to read and write in his 90s.

"In a Fisherman’s Language" was accepted into the Library of Congress in 2012.

Henry was currently working on a second book.


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