Author Ed McBain

Ed McBain

Here are some interesting facts about Ed McBain (aka Evan Hunter):

  • He was born Salvatore Albert Lombino on October 15, 1926, in New York City, son of Italian immigrant parents.
  • He lived in East Harlem until age 12.
  • He served in the Navy in WWII. He was stationed on a destroyer in the Pacific.
  • Short stories he wrote during this time weren’t published until he became established as an author in the 1950’s.
  • After the war he attended and graduated from Hunter College where he majored in English and psychology and minored in dramatics and education.
  • He graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
  • In 1981, he was inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame.
  • He worked for 17 days as a teacher at Bronx Vocational High School in September 1950.
  • He made his first professional short sale in 1951. The story was called “Welcome, Martians,” credited to S.A. Lombino.
  • He legally changed his name to Evan Hunter in 1952.
  • The stint as a teacher was the basis for his first real literary success, “The Blackboard Jungle,” published in 1954 under Evan Hunter.
  • He used many different pseudonyms during in his career: Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Richard Marsten, S.A. Lombino, Evan Hunter, D.A. Addams, Ed McBain, and Ted Taine.
  • He wrote the screenplay for the Hitchcock film “The Birds.”
  • NBC ran a police drama called “87th Precinct” in the 1961-62 season based on his book series 87th Precinct.
  • From 1958 until his death he released one or two novels a year in his 87th Precinct series.
  • He wrote more than 50 crime-fiction novels under the pen name Ed McBain.
  • All told, his books have sold over 100 million copies.
  • In 1986, he was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America, which is the organization’s highest honor.
  • He had three sons and 1 stepdaughter and was married three times.
  • He was a heavy smoker and had three heart attacks before his death at age 78 on July 6, 2005, from laryngeal cancer.


Our libraries have mysteries by Ed McBain available for checkout! You can also borrow his books through MeL, Michigan’s inter-library lending system.

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