I was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, but
after a long journey, which took me to Utica, New York, Europe, back to
Pennsylvania, to New York City, Syracuse, and Massachusetts where I finished college, I finally settled in
Florida when I was discharged from the army during WWII. If it wasn’t for my
wife submitted my first short story, who knows where I might have ended up?
That story was published in Story
magazine and I received my first check as a professional writer; a whopping
the time I bounced around, I managed to get my MBA from Harvard. What I learned
about business and economics I used in the plotting of several of my mysteries,
which involved business swindles. Before I began writing novels, I pounded out
more than 500 short stories and sold most of those to various magazines. My
first novel, The Brass Cupcake, was
published in 1950. I followed it with some science fiction and then in 1953, I
found my niche in the hard-boiled detective genre. In 1964, I created a
protagonist I could relate to and kept him around for twenty-one books. The guy
was serious, cynical, and had a string of women running through his life. He
lived on a houseboat he named Busted
Flush, in honor of the game that won him the boat.
My novel The Executioners was made into a movie (different title) in 1962 staring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck.