Nelle Harper Lee was born and raised in Monroeville, Alabama, the youngest of four children of Frances Cunningham (Finch) and Amasa Coleman Lee. Her first name, Nelle, was her grandmother's name spelled backwards, and the name she uses. Harper Lee is her pen name. Her mother was a homemaker; her father, a former newspaper editor and proprietor, practiced law and served in the Alabama State Legislature from 1926 to 1938. Before A.C. Lee became a title lawyer, he once defended two black men accused of murdering a white storekeeper. Both clients, a father and son, were hanged. Nelle Lee had three siblings: Alice Finch Lee (1911–2014), Louise Lee Conner (1916–2009) and Edwin Lee (1920–1951).