MARY HIGGINS CLARK Biography - Writers


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Her books are world-wide bestsellers. In the U.S. alone, her books have sold             
over 80 million copies. She is the author of twenty-four previous suspense               
novels, Where Are the Children? (1975), A Stranger Is Watching (1978), The               
Cradle Will Fall (1980), A Cry in the Night (1982), Stillwatch (1984), Weep No           
More, My Lady (1987), While My Pretty One Sleeps (1989), Loves Music, Loves to           
Dance (1991), All Around the Town (1992), I'll Be Seeing You (1993), Remember Me         
(1994), Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1995), Silent Night (1995), Moonlight                 
Becomes You (1996), Pretend You Don't See Her (1997), You Belong To Me (1998),           
All Through the Night (1998), We'll Meet Again (1999), Before I Say Good-Bye (2000),     
On the Street Where You Live (2001), Daddy's Little Girl (2002), The Second Time         
Around (2003), Nighttime is My Time (2004) and No Place Like Home (2005). She is         
the author of three collections of short stories, The Anastasia Syndrome & Other         
Stories (1989), The Lottery Winner: Alvirah & Willy Stories (1994) and My Gal             
Sunday: Henry and Sunday Stories (1996). A re-issue of her first book, a                 
biographical novel about George Washington, originally titled Aspire to the               
Heavens, was published with a new title, Mount Vernon Love Story, in June 2002.           
Her memoir, Kitchen Privileges, was published by Simon & Schuster in November             
2002 and in trade paperback by Pocket Books in October 2003.                             
She is co-author, with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, of three suspense               
novels Deck the Halls (2000), He Sees You When You're Sleeping (2001) and The             
Christmas Thief (2004).                                                                   
Two of her novels were made into feature films, Where Are the Children? and A             
Stranger Is Watching. Many of her other works, novels and short stories, were             
made into television films.                                                               
Mary Higgins Clark's fame as a writer was achieved against heavy odds. Born and           
raised in the Bronx, her father died when she was eleven and her mother                   
struggled to raise her and her two brothers. On graduating from high school, she         
went to secretarial school, so she could get a job and help with the family               
finances. After three years of working in an advertising agency, travel fever             
seized her. For the year 1949, she was a stewardess on Pan American Airlines'             
international flights. "My run was Europe, Africa and Asia," she recalls. "I was         
in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the           
Iron Curtain went down. After flying for a year, she married a neighbor, Warren           
Clark, nine years her senior, whom she had known since she was 16. Soon after             
her marriage, she started writing short stories, finally selling her first to             
Extension Magazine in 1956 for $100.                                                     
Left a young widow by the death of her husband from a heart attack in 1964, Mary         
Higgins Clark went to work writing radio scripts and, in addition, decided to             
try her hand at writing books. Every morning, she got up at 5 AM and wrote until         
7 AM, when she had to get her five children ready for school. Her very first             
book was a biographical novel about George Washington, inspired by a radio               
series she was writing, "Portrait of a Patriot." Originally published in 1969 by         
Meredith Press with the title Aspire to the Heavens, it was discovered years             
later by a Washington family member and re-issued in 2002 with the title, Mount           
Vernon Love Story.                                                                       
Mary Higgins Clark's first suspense novel, Where Are the Children? was published         
by Simon & Schuster in 1975. It became a bestseller and marked a turning point           
in her life and career. It is currently in its 75th edition in paperback and was         
re-issued in hardcover as a Simon & Schuster classic.                                     
Freed to catch up on things she always wanted to do, she entered Fordham                 
University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979, with a B.A. in         
philosophy. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Fordham University in             
1998. She is a past trustee of Fordham University and a current trustee of               
Providence College and the Hackensack College Medical Center. She has eighteen           
honorary doctorates.                                                                     
She is # 1 fiction bestselling author in France, where she received the Grand             
Prix de Literature Policière in 1980 and The Literary Award at the 1998                 
Deauville Film Festival. In 2000, she was named by the French Minister of                 
Culture "Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters."                                     
Mary Higgins Clark was chosen by Mystery Writers of America as Grand Master of           
the 2000 Edgar Awards. An annual Mary Higgins Clark Award sponsored by Simon &           
Schuster, to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins         
Clark tradition, was launched by Mystery Writers of America during Edgars week           
in April 2001. She was the 1987 president of Mystery Writers of America and, for         
many years, served on their Board of Directors. In May 1988, she was Chairman of         
the International Crime Congress.                                                         
Active in Catholic affairs, Mary Higgins Clark was made a Dame of the Order of           
St. Gregory the Great, a papal honor. She is also a Dame of Malta and a Lady of           
the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. She received the Catholic Big Sisters                   
Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and the Graymoor Award from the Franciscan           
Friars in 1999. Honors she has received include the Gold Medal of Honor from the         
American-Irish Historical Society (1993), the Spirit of Achievement Award from           
the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (1994), the                 
National Arts Club's first Gold Medal in Education (1994), the Horatio Alger             
Award (1997), the Outstanding Mother of the Year Award (1998), the Bronx Legend           
Award (1999), the 2001 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Passionists' Ethics in           
Literature Award (2002), the first Reader's Digest Author of the Year Award 2002         
and the Christopher Life Achievement Award in 2003. She is an active advocate             
and participant in literacy programs.                                                     
In 1996, Mary Higgins Clark married John Conheeney, the retired Chairman and CEO         
of Merrill-Lynch Futures. They live in Saddle River, New Jersey. Between them,           
they have sixteen grandchildren -- Mary's six and John's ten.