O'Connor (1832-89) was an American journalist, author, civil servant and friend of the poet Walt Whitman. He was born in Boston, Mass., where he studied painting in his early years, but by the age of twenty had become associate editor of the Boston 'Commonwealth,' a famous Free-soil daily. From 1854-60 he was an editor of the Philadelphia 'Saturday Evening Post,' after which he began his government career as a corresponding clerk with the US Light-House Board, eventually rising to the position of Assistant General Superintendent of the Life-Saving Service. There was a great demand for his Annual Reports to Congress which were such vivid, lively narratives that a compilation entitled 'Heroes of the Storm' was published posthumously in 1904. Published in 1860, the year he first met Whitman, this was his only novel.