American novelist, author of Exodus about the creation of Israel and Trinity on the conflict in Ireland, has died ay 78:
- Uris’ novels reflected his experiences as a Marine in World War II and as a war correspondent. His first novel, “Battle Cry,” was published in 1953 when he was 29 years old and it was turned into a film.
Apart from “Exodus” in 1958 and “Trinity” in 1976, Uris was also known for his screenplay, “Gunfight at the OK Corral,” a 1957 movie directed by John Sturges with Hollywood stars Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.
In 1956, six years after becoming a full-time writer, Uris reported on the Middle East conflict.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1924, Uris attended schools in Maryland and Virginia, but never graduated from high school. At 17, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific. After World War II, he married the first of his three wives and worked briefly as a driver for a newspaper.
His 1988 work, “Mitla Pass” was a largely autobiographical account of the Sinai campaign of 1956.
The book’s editor Herman Gollob, a former editor-in-chief at publisher Doubleday, described Uris as a “committed Jew” and a larger-than-life character.
“He was a handful. He was one of those great sort of Hemingway-esque he-men authors,” Gollob said. “He was a story-teller, he had a great ego but he was a warm, great friend and he could be a ferocious enemy as well, that’s the way he saw life.
“The books he wrote were great epics, sagas of people caught up in history. He was a man of incredible appetites, hard-drinking, hard-living, a man of passion and commitments,” Gollob said. [Reuters]