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Mary Higgins Clark - Click to see all titles by this author.

Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark (December 24, 1927-January 31, 2020) grew up in the Bronx, New York. Her father died when she was eleven, throwing her family into poverty. After high school, she worked as a switchboard operator, secretary, catalog copywriter, model, and flight attendant before marrying in 1949 and happily becoming a housewife and mother. She also took writing classes at New York University, starting a writing group that met weekly for nearly forty years.

Mary’s husband died suddenly in 1964. To support her five children, she wrote radio segments, honing the clarity and succinctness that would characterize her novels; she sold short stories for extra cash. In 1968, she turned to novels at the suggestion of her friend and agent, Patricia Schartle Myrer, producing her first title, the historical romance Aspire to the Heavens. It gave her the confidence to continue writing fiction.

Mary turned to writing suspense, scoring a bestseller with her second novel, 1975’s Where Are the Children (Simon & Schuster). The book’s success enabled Mary to become a full-time fiction writer and a publishing powerhouse. The “Queen of Suspense” produced fifty-six bestsellers over forty-five years, earning numerous awards and receiving eighteen honorary doctorates along the way.

Determined to be an example to her children, she also earned a B.A. in philosophy from Fordham University (summa cum laude) in 1979. She became a noted philanthropist and raised money for medical research. A truly elegant and remarkable woman who overcame early adversity and trials to achieve outstanding success through her storytelling, Mary was dearly loved by family, friends, fans, and the literary community.

Her main characters were like herself: “The protagonists of my novels,” she said, “are strong and resourceful women—when calamity strikes, they carry on.”

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