Harold Robbins (Harold Rubin)
BiographyNew York City, New York, USA
Harold Robbins summed up his career best in a 1971 ITV documentary: "I'm the world's best writer--there's nothing more to say". This phenomenally successful author--over 750,000,000 copies of his books were sold worldwide, and most were adapted successfully for the screen--started life as a foundling in a Roman Catholic orphanage before being shuttled between foster homes. At fifteen, he left home to begin a series of low-paying jobs, including working as a numbers runner. At twenty, after buying options on farmers' produce, Robbins was a millionaire, but a move into sugar futures wiped him out. Read more... shipping clerk with Universal Pictures warehouse in New York and was soon promoted to executive director for budget and planning. On a bet with a studio executive, Robbins wrote his personal favorite novel, Never Love a Stranger (Knopf, 1948), and other early works which achieved minor critical success. He soon devolved into a writer of more popular novels involving celebrity, sex, and violence, to the scorn of critics. His writings after 1960 reflected his personal life: six marriages, wild Hollywood parties, drug abuse. A stroke in 1982 left him with aphasia, although he continued to write, publishing his last novel, Tycoon, in 1997.