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Evan Hunter

(1926 - 2005)

Evan Hunter, born Salvatore Albert Lombino on October 15, 1926, in New York City, was an American author and screenwriter who gained fame under several pseudonyms, with "Ed McBain" being the most iconic. McBain was the name under which he wrote the influential "87th Precinct" crime series, set in a fictional city modeled after New York, which helped pioneer the police procedural genre.

Hunter's early career was diverse; he served in the Navy during World War II and later attended Hunter College. He initially worked as a teacher before turning to writing full-time. His first novel "The Blackboard Jungle" (1954), published under his legal name at the time, Evan Hunter, chronicled the gritty realities of an inner-city school and was a substantial success, adapted into a well-known 1955 film.

Under the McBain pseudonym, he produced over 50 novels in the "87th Precinct" series, starting with "Cop Hater" (1956). Hunter didn't confine himself to crime fiction; he explored various genres and also wrote screenplays, most notably the script for Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963).

His work is characterized by realistic dialogue, in-depth character studies, and intricate plotting. Hunter impacted the genre significantly, influencing countless other crime writers with his formula that interwove ensemble casts and details of police work.

Despite the fame attributed to his pseudonym, Hunter published several novels, plays, and screenplays under his own name, contributing vastly to American literature and popular culture. Evan Hunter died on July 6, 2005, but left behind a legacy of richly-detailed writing that continues to captivate readers and audiences alike.

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