Fisherman Learns to Read at 90, Becomes Published Author at 96

Posted on March 14, 2012

Lobsterman and fisherman Captain James Arruda Henry hid a secret for most of his life: he could not read or write. He grew up with a strict Portugeuse father who kept him home from school a great deal, and teachers just passed him on to the next grade. He dropped out of school and faked his way through life, pretending he could read menus and signs. He was a successful fisherman. But when his wife became ill, he decided to learn to read and write. He was 90 years old and asked his family for help. He hired a tutor and two years later he decided he wanted to be an author.

At 96 he published In a Fisherman's Language: An Autobiography, a story of his life. The book has become very popular, especially after being featured in People. He attributes its popularity to the fact that he wrote it from his heart. His message is one of perseverance and hope. He is now 98 and, according to his website, already has an overuse injury from signing too many books. So he's resting up a bit before doing any more signings.

Here's Captain James Arruda Henry talking to a classroom about his book:

You can buy the ebook for your Kindle at, or buy a trade paperback copy with photos at Jim's website,

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