He Changed What We Read

By | Oct 14, 2012

Harold Robbins with more than 20 published books in 32 different languages and selling over 750 million copies can easily be considered one of the World’s Bestselling Author.

He was born on May 21, 1916 and although he often claimed to be a Jewish orphan (just like the character in his first novel Never Love a Stranger) he was the son of well-educated Russian and Polish immigrants.

One version of his biography has it that he made a million dollars selling sugar, but lost it all during the second World War. What is known is that after the War he moved to Hollywood where he worked for Universal Pictures.

In 1948 he published Never Love a Stranger, a book that broke away from the norm with graphic real life scenes of love, sex and violence. The book was banned in many places. Perhaps his best known work is The Carpetbaggers a book loosely based on the life of Howard Hughes. The book was the basis of two popular movies of the 1960s, The Carpetbaggers and Nevada Smith.

His books were full of sex and violence at a time when it was not generally accepted. In many ways he could be called a trend-setter. In the future world of Star Trek Jim Kirk calls him one the great authors of the generation. The quote was made in Star Trek IV:The Voyage Home as he and Spock was walking the streets of 1986 San Francisco.

After a long career, one that found him spending the last few years of his life confined to a wheelchair due to hip problems, he died on fifteen years ago on October 14, 1997 from respiratory heart failure at the age of 81 in Palm Springs, California.


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