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Harold Robbins
(May 21, 1916 - Ocober 14, 1997) U.S.A.

Harold Robbins

Novelist

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An orphan who never discovered the identity of his parents, Robbins (aka Francis Kane, Harold Rubin) was abandoned on the steps of a Roman Catholic orphanage in New York City; he spent his childhood in that orphanage, then was adopted and raised in a Jewish family. He was educated at George Washington High School.

At fifteen, he left home to begin a series of low-paying jobs, including working as a numbers runner. Robbins made his first million at the age of twenty by selling sugar for the wholesale trade. At the beginning of World War II, a move into sugar futures wiped him out - Robbins had lost his fortune and moved to Hollywood. He next took a job as a shipping clerk with Universal Pictures warehouse in New York and was soon promoted to executive director for budget and planning.

On a bet with a studio executive, Robbins wrote his personal favorite novel, Never Love a Stranger (1948), and according to Robbins, publisher Pat Knopf bought Never Love a Stranger because "it was the first time he ever read a book in which on one page you'd have tears and on the next page you'd have a hardon."

The Dream Merchants (1949) was about Hollywood's film industry, from the first steps to sound era. He soon devolved into a writer of more popular novels involving celebrity, sex, and violence, to the scorn of critics. His 1952 novel, A Stone for Danny Fisher, was adapted into a 1958 motion picture King Creole, which starred Elvis Presley. His writings after 1960 reflected his personal life: six marriages, wild Hollywood parties, drug abuse.

He created gossipy-style formulaic works that featured the triple themes of sex, money, and power and made him one of the best-selling authors of all time. He once declared that he had experienced firsthand all the vices he presented in his novels, including homosexulity. Harold was a prolific though critically under-appreciated author. He would become one of the world's bestselling authors, publishing over 20 books which were translated into 32 languages. All told, his books sold more than 750,000,000 copies worldwide.

A stroke in 1982 left him with aphasia and was obliged to use a wheelchair because of hip trouble, although he continued to write, publishing his last novel, Tycoon, in 1997. He died at Palm Springs, California, of respiratory heart failure. He is buried in the Palm Springs Mortuary & Mausoleum, Palm Springs, California. Harold Robbins has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6743 Hollywood Blvd.

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His books include:
  • Never Love A Stranger (1948)
  • The Dream Merchants (1949)
  • A Stone for Danny Fisher (1952)
  • Never Leave Me (1953)
  • 79 Park Avenue (1955)
  • Stiletto (1960)
  • The Carpetbaggers (1961)
  • Where Love Has Gone (1962)
  • The Adventurers (1966)
  • The Inheritors (1969)
  • The Betsy (1971)
  • The Pirate (1974)

  • The Lonely Lady (1976)
  • Dreams Die First (1977)
  • Memories of Another Day (1979)
  • Goodbye, Janette (1981)
  • The Storyteller (1982)
  • Descent from Xanadu (1984)
  • The Piranhas (1986)
  • The Raiders (1995)
  • Tycoon: A Novel (1997)
  • The Predators (1998)
  • The Secret (2000)
  • Never Enough (2001)
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