Harold Robbins

Harold Robbins books and biography

Harold Robbins

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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, Robbins spent his childhood in an orphanage. He was educated at George Washington High School and after leaving school worked at several jobs. Robbins made his first million at the age of 20 by selling sugar for the wholesale trade. By the beginning of World War II, Robbins had lost his fortune and moved to Hollywood where he worked for Universal Studios, first as a mail clerk. Later he became a janitor at the local five-and-dime store.

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 hard-on. [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 1954 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 750 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 when he was 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.

Selected bibliography

  • Never Love A Stranger, 1948
  • The Dream Merchants, 1949
  • A Stone for Danny Fisher, 1952
  • Never Leave Me, 1953
  • 79 Park Avenue, 1955
  • Stiletto, 1960
  • The Carpetbaggers, 1961
  • Where Love Has Gone, 1962
  • Hopping the Fence, 1966
  • The Adventurers, 1966
  • The Inheritors, 1969
  • The Betsy, 1971
  • The Pirate, 1974
  • The Lonely Lady, 1976
  • Dreams Die First, 1977
  • Memories of Another Day, 1979
  • Goodbye, Janette, 1981
  • The Storyteller, 1982
  • Spellbinder, 1982
  • Descent from Xanadu, 1984
  • The Piranhas, 1986
  • The Raiders, 1995
  • The Stallion, 1996
  • Tycoon, 1997
  • The Predators, 1998
  • The Secret, 2000
  • Never Enough, 2001
  • Sin City, 2002
  • Heat of Passion, 2003
  • The Betrayers, (with Junius Podrug) 2004
  • Blood Royal, (with Junius Podrug) 2005
  • The Devil to Pay, (with Junius Podrug) (2006)
  • The Looters, (with Junius Podrug) (upcoming, September 2007)


  1. ^ Harold Robbins."The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Volume 5: 1997-1999. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2006

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