July 15-31, 2005 People

July 15, 2005
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July 15-31, 2005 Edition PEOPLE Novelist Evan Hunter,

AKA Ed McBain

Dies at Age 78

LOS ANGELES/07/08/05—Author Evan Hunter, who wrote under the name Ed McBain, died at his home in Weston, Connecticut on July 6 at the age of 78. He died of cancer of the larynx, according to his agent Jane Belfman

Hunter’s 87th Precinct detective series was the foundation for a number of movies, including The Blackboard Jungle, released in 1955 and starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier. He adapted Daphne Du Maurier’s novel for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic, The Birds.

Hunter was born in New York on October 15, 1926 as Salvatore Lombino, and later changed his name, feeling that his Italian name was a disadvantage in the publishing world. He attended Hunter College in New York and served in the Navy during World War II.

Before he became a successful author, he worked at various odd jobs, including posts as a lobster salesman, a literary agent and a school teacher.

He also wrote screenplays adapted from his own novels. Strangers When We Meet, and Fuzz. Were among well-known Hunter dramas.

Hunter wrote more than 100 novels, stores and scripts, including 50 87th Precinct novels, which popularized the police procedural genre on television.

The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement in 1986.

Hunter continued working until his death. His latest 87th Precinct novel titled Fiddlers, will be released in September, and a story collection, Learning to Kill, will be published next spring.

The author is survived by three sons, a stepdaughter and his wife Dragica.

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