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Mickey Spillane

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A small section of the above Linked article:

By Peggy Mishoe - For The Sun News

Mickey Spillane

"Mickey Spillane, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1918, moved to Murrells Inlet in the 1950s and lived there until his death in 2006.

His mantra was “I’m a writer, not an author. The difference is a writer makes money.”

He is most famous for his books about private detective Mike Hammer, which make up about half of his work. He introduced Hammer in his first book, “I, the Jury,” which he wrote in a few days in 1947 to buy a house.

Six and a half million copies were sold in the U.S. alone. It was made into a movie in 1953 and again in 1982.

Spillane attended college on a football scholarship, but did not graduate. He joined the Army Air Corps the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and spent his military career in the U.S. flying fighter planes and training pilots.

He created a phenomenon that pleased the people, if not the literary world. For millions of men who had recently returned from a bloody war, the violent and vengeful Hammer was the perfect character.

Unlike Hammer, Spillane did not drink or smoke. In the 1950s, he became a Jehovah’s Witness, and in his last years was still delivering tracts door to door. His widow, Jane Spillane, said he faithfully read his Bible and left it well-worn.

More than 200 million Spillane books have been sold and many inspired radio shows, television series and movies. In 1980, seven of the top 15 all-time best-selling fiction books published in the U.S. were his.

When his doctors told him he only had about six weeks to live, they were crying. He said, “Don’t cry for me. I’ve done everything in life that I ever wanted to do.”

At times, he worked with Barnum and Bailey’s circus as a trapeze artist, knife-thrower and cannon ball, and worked with the FBI to bust a narcotics ring, experiences which later emerged in “The Girl Hunters” and “Kiss Me Deadly.” At 14, he began writing for a newspaper. He later wrote comics, adventures for comic characters, children’s books and much more.

He told Jane that when he was gone, she was going on a treasure hunt.

“Little did I know what kind of hunt it would be,” she said.

He saved everything. Jane, who teaches classes about his life and writings, is working with a biographer, an author and others to publish numerous works in different mediums, including five unpublished books. The first, “The Goliath Bone,” has already been published."

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