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Author Information: Stanley Ellin

 
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1916-1986

Stanley Ellin is the most celebrated crime short-story writer of the second half of the twentieth century as well as an innovative novelist. Ellin was born in Brooklyn, where would remain for most of his life. He started writing while still at Brooklyn College. He held a colorful assortment of jobs including dairy farmer, shipbuilder, ironworker, junior college teacher and magazine salesman, writing in his spare time. After serving in the army in 1944 and 1945, his wife encouraged him to give writing full-time a shot for a year. It was during this time that he published his first and most famous short story, “Specialty of The House,” which received the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s best fiction award for 1948. When his first novel, Dreadful Summit, was adapted into the film, "The Big Night" (1951), he acted as a front for the two blacklisted screenwriters, Ring Lardner Jr. and Hugo Butler. Ellin went on to win three Edgar Awards, two for short stories and one for his novel, The Eighth Circle, and received the Grand Prix De Litterature Policiere in France for his daring novel, Mirror, Mirror On The Wall. Eight of his stories were made into episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1981, he was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. He died in Brooklyn of a heart attack.

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