Harold Robbins (May 21, 1916 – October 14, 1997) was one of the best-selling American authors of all time. During his career, he wrote over 25 best-sellers, selling over 750 million copies in 32 languages.
Born as Harold Rubin in New York City, he later claimed to be a Jewish orphan who had been raised in a Catholic boys home. In reality he was the son of well-educated Russian and Polish immigrants. He was reared by his pharmacist father and stepmother in Brooklyn. His first wife was his high school sweetheart During the 1930s and 1940s he did different jobs and got into sugar futures, making a lot of money until he was wiped out in the wake of World War II. After the war, he went to work for Universal Pictures in New York as a shipping clerk. While on this job and taking a bet from a co worker, he began writing.
His first book, Never Love a Stranger (1948), caused controversy with its graphic sexuality.
The Dream Merchants (1949) was a novel about the American film industry, from its beginning to the 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 arguably the world's bestselling author, publishing over 20 books which were translated into 32 languages and sold over 750 million copies. Among his best-known books is The Carpetbaggers – loosely based on a composite of Howard Hughes, Bill Lear, Harry Cohn, and Louis B. Mayer – taking the reader from New York to California, from the prosperity of the aeronautical industry to the glamor of Hollywood. Its sequel, The Raiders, was released in 1995. Other works which feature affluent characters, sex and the jet set include 75 Park Avenue, The Pirate, The Lonely Lady, The Betsy, and Where Love Has Gone.
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