An American author of popular novels. One of the best-selling writers of all time, he penned over 25 best-sellers, totaling over 750 million copies in 32 languages.
Born Harold Rubin in New York City, he later claimed to be a Jewish orphan who had been raised in a Catholic boys home.
In reality he was the son of well-educated Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants. He was reared by his pharmacist father and stepmother in Brooklyn.
His first book, Never Love a Stranger (1948), caused controversy with its graphic sexuality.
The Dream Merchants (1949) was a novel about the American film industry, from its beginning to the sound era. Again Robbins blended his own experiences, historical facts, melodrama, sex, and action into a fast-moving story.
His 1952 novel, A Stone for Danny Fisher, was adapted into a 1958 motion picture King Creole, which starred Elvis Presley.
Among his best-known books is The Carpetbaggers – loosely based on a composite of Howard Hughes, Bill Lear, Harry Cohn, and Louis B. Mayer – taking the reader from New York to California, from the prosperity of the aeronautics|aeronautical industry to the glamour of Hollywood. Its sequel, The Raiders, was released in 1995.
Since his death, several new books have been published, written by ghostwriters and based on Robbins's own notes and unfinished stories. On several of these final books, Junius Podrug has been credited as co-writer.
From the Hodder & Stoughton 2008 edition of The Carpetbaggers About the author section:
Robbins was the playboy of his day and a master of publicity. He was a renowned novelist but tales of his own life contain even more fiction than his books. What is known is that with reported worldwide sales of 750m, Harold Robbins sold more books than J.K. Rowling, earned and spent $50m during his lifetime, and was as much a part of the sexual and social revolution as the pill, Playboy and pot.
In March 1965, he had three novels on the British paperback bestseller list – Where Love Has Gone at No.1, The Carpetbaggers at No.3 and The Dream Merchants in the sixth spot.
His widow, Jann Robbins, has republished 12 of his most famous titles with AuthorHouse Publishing.
Robbins was married three times, his first wife being his high school sweetheart.
He spent a great deal of time on the French Riviera and Monte Carlo until his death on October 14, 1997 from respiratory heart failure at the age of 81 in Palm Springs, California.
He is buried nearby at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City.
Robbins has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6743 Hollywood Boulevard.