Evan Hunter (October 15, 1926 – July 6, 2005) was an American author and screenwriter who also wrote under a number of pen names, most notably Ed McBain, used for most of his crime fiction. Born Salvatore Albert Lombino, he legally adopted the name Evan Hunter in 1952; he also used the pen names John Abbott, Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, and Richard Marsten, amongst others. His 87th Precinct novels have become staples of the police procedural genre.
|Born||Salvatore Albert Lombino|
October 15, 1926
New York City, U.S.
|Died||July 6, 2005 (aged 78)|
Weston, Connecticut, U.S.
|Pen name||John Abbott, Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, Ed McBain, Richard Marsten, others|
|Genre||Crime fiction, mystery fiction, pornography, science fiction|
|Notable works||87th Precinct series|
|Spouse||Anita Melnick, 1949 (divorced)|
Mary Vann Finley, 1973 (divorced)
Dragica Dimitrijevic, 1997 (until his death)
|Children||3 sons; 1 stepdaughter|
Salvatore Lombino was born and raised in New York City. He lived in East Harlem until age 12, when his family moved to the Bronx. He attended Olinville Junior High School, then Evander Childs High School, before winning an Art Students League scholarship. Later, he was admitted as an art student at Cooper Union. Lombino served in the Navy in World War II and wrote several short stories while serving aboard a destroyer in the Pacific. However, none of these stories was published until after he had established himself as an author in the 1950s.
After the war, Lombino returned to New York and attended Hunter College, where he majored in English and psychology, with minors in dramatics and education, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He published a weekly column in the Hunter College newspaper as "S. A. Lombino". In 1981, Lombino was inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame, where he was honored for outstanding professional achievement.
While looking to start a career as a writer, Lombino took a variety of jobs, including 17 days as a teacher at Bronx Vocational High School in September 1950. This experience would later form the basis for his novel Blackboard Jungle (1954), written under the pen name Evan Hunter.
In 1951, Lombino took a job as an executive editor for the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, working with authors such as Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke, Lester del Rey, Richard S. Prather, and P. G. Wodehouse. He made his first professional short story sale that same year, a science-fiction tale titled "Welcome, Martians!", credited to S. A. Lombino.
Name change and pen namesEdit
Soon after his initial sale, Lombino sold stories under the pen names Evan Hunter and Hunt Collins. The name Evan Hunter is generally believed to have been derived from two schools he attended, Evander Childs High School and Hunter College, although the author himself would never confirm that. (He did confirm that Hunt Collins was derived from Hunter College.) Lombino legally changed his name to Evan Hunter in May 1952, after an editor told him that a novel he wrote would sell more copies if credited to Evan Hunter than to S. A. Lombino. Thereafter, he used the name Evan Hunter both personally and professionally.
As Evan Hunter, he gained notice with his novel Blackboard Jungle (1954) dealing with juvenile crime and the New York City public school system. The film adaptation followed in 1955.
During this era, Hunter also wrote a great deal of genre fiction. He was advised by his agents that publishing too much fiction under the Hunter byline, or publishing any crime fiction as Evan Hunter, might weaken his literary reputation. Consequently, during the 1950s Hunter used the pseudonyms Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, and Richard Marsten for much of his crime fiction. A prolific author in several genres, Hunter also published approximately two dozen science fiction stories and four science-fiction novels between 1951 and 1956 under the names S. A. Lombino, Evan Hunter, Richard Marsten, D. A. Addams, and Ted Taine.
Ed McBain, his best known pseudonym, was first used with Cop Hater (1956), the first novel in the 87th Precinct crime series. Hunter revealed that he was McBain in 1958 but continued to use the pseudonym for decades, notably for the 87th Precinct series, and the Matthew Hope detective series. He retired the pen names Addams, Cannon, Collins, Marsten, and Taine around 1960. From then on crime novels were generally attributed to McBain and other sorts of fiction to Hunter. Reprints of crime-oriented stories and novels written in the 1950s previously attributed to other pseudonyms were re-issued under the McBain byline. Hunter stated that the division of names allowed readers to know what to expect: McBain novels had a consistent writing style, while Hunter novels were more varied.
Under the Hunter name, novels steadily appeared throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, including Come Winter (1973) and Lizzie (1984). Hunter was also successful as screenwriter for film and television. He wrote the screenplay for the Hitchcock film The Birds (1963), loosely adapted from Daphne du Maurier's eponymous 1952 novelette. In the process of adapting Winston Graham's novel Marnie (1961) for Hitchcock, Hunter and the director disagreed on the rape scene, and the writer was sacked. Hunter's other screenplays included Strangers When We Meet (1960), based on his own 1958 novel; and Fuzz (1972), based on his eponymous 1968 87th Precinct novel, which he had written as Ed McBain.
From 1958 until his death, McBain's 87th Precinct novels appeared at a rate of approximately one or two novels a year. Additionally, NBC ran a police drama called 87th Precinct during the 1961–62 season, based on McBain's work.
From 1978 to 1998, McBain published a series about lawyer Matthew Hope; books in this series appeared every year or two, and usually had titles derived from well-known children's stories. For about a decade, from 1984 to 1994, Hunter published no fiction under his own name. In 2000, a novel called Candyland appeared that was credited to both Hunter and McBain. The two-part novel opened in Hunter's psychologically-based narrative voice before switching to McBain's customary police procedural style.
Aside from McBain, Hunter used at least two other pseudonyms for his fiction after 1960: Doors (1975), which was originally attributed to Ezra Hannon, before being reissued as a work by McBain, and Scimitar (1992), which was credited to John Abbott.
Hunter gave advice to other authors in his article, "Dig in and get it done: no-nonsense advice from a prolific author (aka Ed McBain) on starting and finishing your novel". In it, he advised authors to "find their voice for it is the most important thing in any novel".
Dean Hudson controversyEdit
Hunter has long been rumoured to have written an unknown number of pornographic novels, as Dean Hudson, for William Hamling's publishing houses. Hunter himself adamantly and consistently denied writing any books as Hudson right up to his death. However, apparently his agent Scott Meredith sold books to Hamling's company as Hunter's work, and received payments for these books in cash. While notable, this in and of itself is not definitive proof: Meredith almost certainly forwarded novels to Hamling by any number of authors, claiming these novels were by Hunter simply to make a sale. Ninety-three novels were published under the Hudson name between 1961 and 1969, and even the most avid proponents of the Hunter-as-Hudson theory do not believe Hunter is responsible for all 93.
He had three sons: Richard Hunter, an author, speaker, advisor to CIOs on business value and risk issues, and harmonica player; Mark Hunter, an academic, educator, investigative reporter, and author; and Ted Hunter, a painter, who died in 2006.
A heavy smoker for many decades, Hunter had three heart attacks over a number of years (his first in 1987) and needed a heart operation. A precancerous lesion was found on his larynx in 1992. This was removed, but the problem later returned, and Hunter died from laryngeal cancer in 2005, aged 78, in Weston, Connecticut.
- Edgar Award nomination for Best Short Story, "The Last Spin" (Manhunt, Sept. 1956)
- Edgar Award nomination for Best Motion Picture, The Birds (1964)
- Edgar Award nomination for Best Short Story, "Sardinian Incident" (Playboy, Oct. 1971)
- Grand Master, Mystery Writers of America (1986)
- Diamond Dagger, British Crime Writers Assn (first American recipient, 1998)
- Anthony Award nomination for Best Series of the Century (2000)
- Edgar Award nomination for Best Novel, Money, Money, Money (2002)
|1952||Find The Feathered Serpent||Evan Hunter||YA novel|
|1952||The Evil Sleep!||Evan Hunter||Reprinted in 1956 as "So Nude, So Dead" under the name Richard Marsten|
|1953||Don't Crowd Me||Evan Hunter|
|1953||Danger: Dinosaurs!||Richard Marsten||YA novel|
|1953||Rocket to Luna||Richard Marsten||YA novel|
|1954||The Blackboard Jungle||Evan Hunter|
|1954||Runaway Black||Richard Marsten||Later credited as Ed McBain|
|1954||Cut Me In||Hunt Collins||Later republished as The Proposition|
|1955||Murder in the Navy||Richard Marsten||Later republished as Death of a Nurse by Ed McBain|
|1956||Second Ending||Evan Hunter|
|1956||Cop Hater||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1956||The Mugger||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1956||The Pusher||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1956||Tomorrow's World||Hunt Collins||Later republished as Tomorrow And Tomorrow by Hunt Collins, and as Sphere by Ed McBain|
|1957||The Con Man||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1957||Killer's Choice||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1957||Vanishing Ladies||Richard Marsten||Later republished as by Ed McBain|
|1957||The Spiked Heel||Richard Marsten|
|1958||Strangers When We Meet||Evan Hunter|
|1958||The April Robin Murders||Craig Rice and Ed McBain||Hunter finished this novel started by Rice, using his McBain pen name.|
|1958||Killer's Payoff||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1958||Lady Killer||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1958||Even The Wicked||Richard Marsten||Later republished as by Ed McBain|
|1958||I'm Cannon—For Hire||Curt Cannon||Later revised and republished as The Gutter and the Grave by Ed McBain|
|1959||A Matter of Conviction||Evan Hunter|
|1959||The Remarkable Harry||Evan Hunter||Children's book|
|1959||Big Man||Richard Marsten||Later republished as by Ed McBain|
|1959||Killer's Wedge||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1959||'til Death||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1959||King's Ransom||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1960||Give the Boys a Great Big Hand||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1960||The Heckler||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1960||See Them Die||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1961||Lady, Lady I Did It!||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1961||Mothers And Daughters||Evan Hunter|
|1961||The Wonderful Button||Evan Hunter||Children's book|
|1962||Like Love||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1963||Ten Plus One||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1964||Ax||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1964||He Who Hesitates||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1965||Doll||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1965||The Sentries||Ed McBain|
|1965||Me And Mr. Stenner||Evan Hunter||Children's book|
|1965||Happy New Year, Herbie||Evan Hunter|
|1966||The Paper Dragon||Evan Hunter|
|1966||80 Million Eyes||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1967||A Horse's Head||Evan Hunter|
|1968||Last Summer||Evan Hunter|
|1968||Fuzz||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1969||Shotgun||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1970||Jigsaw||Ed McBain||87th Precinct||This novel was adapted as the Columbo episode "Undercover" in 1994.|
|1971||Nobody Knew They Were There||Evan Hunter|
|1971||Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1972||Every Little Crook And Nanny||Evan Hunter|
|1972||Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1972||Sadie When She Died||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1973||Come Winter||Evan Hunter|
|1973||Hail to the Chief||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1974||Streets Of Gold||Evan Hunter|
|1974||Bread||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1975||Where There's Smoke||Ed McBain|
|1975||Blood Relatives||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1975||Doors||Ezra Hannon||Later republished as by Ed McBain|
|1976||So Long as You Both Shall Live||Ed McBain||87th Precinct||This novel was adapted as the Columbo episode "No Time to Die" in 1992.|
|1976||The Chisholms||Evan Hunter|
|1977||Long Time No See||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1978||Goldilocks||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1979||Walk Proud||Evan Hunter|
|1979||Calypso||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1980||Ghosts||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1981||Love, Dad||Evan Hunter|
|1981||Heat||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1981||Rumpelstiltskin||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1982||Beauty & The Beast||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1983||Far From The Sea||Evan Hunter|
|1983||Ice||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1984||Lightning||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1984||Jack & The Beanstalk||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1984||And All Through the House||Ed McBain||87th Precinct||Short-story length work, issued (with illustrations) as a limited-edition novel. Reissued in 1994.|
|1985||Eight Black Horses||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1985||Snow White & Rose Red||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1986||Another Part of the City||Ed McBain|
|1986||Cinderella||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1987||Poison||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1987||Tricks||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1987||Puss in Boots||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1988||The House that Jack Built||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1989||Lullaby||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1990||Vespers||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1990||Three Blind Mice||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope||Adapted as a TV Movie in 2001, starring Brian Dennehy|
|1991||Widows||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1992||Kiss||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1992||Mary, Mary||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1993||Mischief||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1994||There Was A Little Girl||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1994||Criminal Conversation||Evan Hunter|
|1995||Romance||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1996||Privileged Conversation||Evan Hunter|
|1996||Gladly The Cross-Eyed Bear||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1997||Nocturne||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|1998||The Last Best Hope||Ed McBain||Matthew Hope|
|1999||The Big Bad City||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|2000||Candyland||Evan Hunter and Ed McBain||Two-part novel that was billed as a "collaboration" between Hunter and his pseudonym.|
|2000||Driving Lessons||Ed McBain|
|2000||The Last Dance||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|2001||Money, Money, Money||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|2002||The Moment She Was Gone||Evan Hunter|
|2002||Fat Ollie's Book||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|2003||The Frumious Bandersnatch||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|2004||Hark!||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
|2005||Alice in Jeopardy||Ed McBain|
|2005||Fiddlers||Ed McBain||87th Precinct|
- 1956: The Jungle Kids (Short Stories) (short stories by Evan Hunter)
- 1957: The Merry, Merry Christmas
- 1957: On the Sidewalk Bleeding
- 1960: The Last Spin & Other Stories
- 1962: The Empty Hours (87th Precinct short stories by Ed McBain)
- 1965: Happy New Year, Herbie (short stories by Evan Hunter)
- 1972: The Easter Man (a Play) And Six Stories (by Evan Hunter)
- 1982: The McBain Brief (Short stories by Ed McBain)
- 1988: McBain's Ladies (87th Precinct short stories by Ed McBain)
- 1992: McBain's Ladies, Too (87th Precinct short stories by Ed McBain)
- 2000: Barking at Butterflies & Other Stories (by Evan Hunter)
- 2000: Running from Legs (by Evan Hunter)
- 2006: Learning to Kill (short story collection by Ed McBain, published posthumously, featuring works written 1952-57)
- 1998: Me & Hitch! (by Evan Hunter)
- 2005: Let's Talk (by Evan Hunter)
- The Chisholms, CBS miniseries starring Robert Preston (1979)
- The Legend of Walks Far Woman (1980)
- Dream West (1986)
- 2000: The Best American Mystery Stories (by Evan Hunter)
- 2005: Transgressions (collection of crime novellas by various authors edited by Ed McBain)
- Becca in Jeopardy (Near completion at the time of Hunter's death. Apparently to remain unpublished.)
- Blackboard Jungle (1955) by Richard Brooks, from Blackboard Jungle
- High and Low (1963) by Akira Kurosawa, from King's Ransom
- Mister Buddwing (1966) by Delbert Mann, from Buddwing
- Last Summer (1969) by Frank Perry, from Last Summer
- Sans mobile apparent (1971) by Philippe Labro, from Ten Plus One
- Every Little Crook and Nanny (1972) by Cy Howard, from Every Little Crook and Nanny
- Blood Relatives (1978) by Claude Chabrol, from Blood Relatives
- Lonely Heart (1981) by Kon Ichikawa, from Lady, Lady, I Did It
- Swirski, Peter (2016-07-15). American Crime Fiction: A Cultural History of Nobrow Literature as Art. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-30108-2.
- "Alumni Finding Aid" (PDF). Hunter.cuny.edu. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
- McBain, Ed, Learning To Kill, Harvest Books, 2006, pg. xi-xii
- "Dig in and get it done"; Evan Hunter. The Writer. Boston: Jun 2005. Vol. 118, Issue 6
- Kemp, Earl (February 2006). "The Whitewash Jungle". Earl Kemp fanzine.
- MacDonald, Erin E. (2012). Ed McBain/Evan Hunter: A Literary Companion. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
- "Ted hunter". Omnilexica.
- "In the Psychiatrist's Chair". BBC Radio 4. October 1998.
- "Obituary". The New York Times. July 7, 2005.
- McBain, Ed (14 July 2015). So Nude, So Dead. Titan Books (US, CA). ISBN 9781783293612. Retrieved 11 September 2018 – via Google Books.
- The official Ed McBain website
- Evan Hunter at IMDb
- Evan Hunter at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Works by or about Evan Hunter in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Works by or about Ed McBain in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Ed McBain and Evan Hunter on Internet Book List
- 2001 audio interview with Leonard Lopate of WNYC/NPR — RealAudio
- Ed McBain / Evan Hunter bibliographies 1–2 at HARD-BOILED site (Comprehensive Bibliographies by Vladimir)