Harold Robbins (1916–1997) is one of the bestselling American fiction writers of all time, ranking 5th on the World’s Bestselling Fiction Author List just behind William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. He wrote over 25 bestselling novels, sold more than 750 million copies in 42 languages and spent over 300 weeks combined on The New York Times bestsellers list. His books were adapted into 13 commercially successful films and also television series that garnered numerous Oscar®, Golden Globe®, and Primetime Emmy® nominations starring Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, and more.
The self-proclaimed “world’s best writer in plain English,” Robbins wrote novels that resonated with audiences due to their graphic depictions of sex, violence, power, and drugs, and the multilayered complexities of his characters, as evidenced by his bestselling novels Never Love a Stranger, The Carpetbaggers, Where Love Has Gone, and The Adventurers. He once said in an interview: “People make their own choices every day about what they are willing to do. We don’t have the right to judge them or label them. At least walk in their shoes before you do.”
Robbins’ personal life was as fascinating to the public as his novels. An enthusiastic participant in the social and sexual revolution of the 1960s, Robbins cultivated a “playboy” image and maintained friendships with stars including Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dino De Laurentiis, Robert Evans, Ringo Starr, Barbara Eden, Lena Horne, and Quincy Jones, and was one of the first novelists to be prominently featured in gossip magazines, earning him the title of “The World’s First Rock Star Author.”