HAROLD ROBBINS Biography - Writers


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Harold Robbins (born Francis Kane[1] and given the adoptive       
name of Harold Rubin) (May 21, 1916–October 14 1997) was an     
American author.                                                   
Born in New York City, Harold Rubin spent his childhood in an     
orphanage. He was educated at George Washington High School       
and after leaving school he worked in several jobs. Robbins       
made his first million at the age of twenty by selling sugar       
for the wholesale trade. At the beginning of World War II,         
Robbins had lost his fortune and moved to Hollywood where he       
worked for Universal Studios, first as a shipping clerk. Later     
he became a studio executive.                                     
His first book, Never Love a Stranger, (1948) drew on his own     
life as an orphan on the streets of New York and created           
controversy with its graphic sexuality. Ian Parker says that       
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. [sic]"                                             
The Dream Merchants (1949) was about Hollywood's film             
industry, from the first steps to sound era. Again Robbins         
blended his own experiences, historical facts, melodrama, sex,     
and action into a fast-moving story.                               
His 1952 novel, A Stone for Danny Fisher, was adapted into a       
1958 motion picture King Creole, which starred Elvis Presley.     
He would become one of the world's bestselling authors,           
publishing over 20 books which were translated into 32             
languages and sold over 50 million copies. Among his               
best-known books is The Carpetbaggers. It was loosely based on     
the life of Howard Hughes, taking the reader from New York to     
California, from the prosperity of the aeronautical industry       
to the glamour of Hollywood. Its sequel, The Raiders, appeared     
in 1995.                                                           
Robbins was married five times. From 1982 he was obliged to       
use a wheelchair because of hip trouble, but continued writing.   
He spent a great deal of time on the French Riviera and Monte     
Carlo until his death on October 14, 1997 from respiratory         
heart failure at the age of 81. He is buried at Forest Lawn       
Cemetery (Cathedral City) near Palm Springs, California. Since     
his death, several new novels have been released posthumously,     
finished by ghostwriters.                                         
Harold Robbins has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at         
6743 Hollywood Boulevard.