Orígenes Lessa, journalist, short story writer, novelist, and a writer of essays, was born in Lençóis Paulista, SP, on July 12, 1903, and died in Rio de Janeiro, RJ, on July 13, 1986. He was elected, on July 9, 1981 for the Chair number 10 of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, succeeding Osvaldo Orico, and was received on November 20, 1981, by the Academy Member Francisco de Assis Barbosa.
A son of Vicente Themudo Lessa, historian, journalist and a Protestant pastor from the State of Pernambuco, and of Henriqueta Pinheiro Themudo Lessa. In 1906, he was taken by his family to São Luís in the State of Maranhão, where he stayed untilk the age 9, following his fathers's journey as a missionary. From the experience of his childhood resulted the novel Rua do Sol (Street of the Sun). In 1912, he returned to São Paulo. At the age 19, he entered a Protestant seminar, which he left two years later.
In 1924, he moved to Rio de Janeiro. Voluntarily separated from his family, he faced great difficulties. In order to support himself he became a teacher. He finished a Physical Education couyrse, become a calisthenics teacher of the Physical Education Institute of the YMCA.