Truman Capote’s ashes fetch $45,000 at auction

Iconic gay author Truman Capote’s colourful life ended in 1984 – but his legend lives on.

Last weekend his ashes were sold in Los Angeles for $45,000 – the first time in history that a person’s ashes have been publicly auctioned off.


The anonymous new owner has promised to keep to Capote’s last wishes – meaning he’ll be accompanying him on adventures around the world.

The ashes, which are housed in a sealed wooden Japanese box, originally belonged to the late Joanne Carson, ex-wife of former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson.

Capote often stayed with Carson in her Bel-Air mansion – in which he had a studio and eventually died from liver failure in 1984.

“He asked Joanne Carson before he passed – he told her he didn’t want to sit on a shelf,” auctioneer Darren Julien said.

“This is definitely right in line with his wishes.”

As well as his ashes, other personal items of Capote— like his trousers, ice skates and a shirt he wore on the day of his death— were for sale at the auction.

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