View Full Version : RIP Evan Hunter

William Haskins
07-07-2005, 08:12 PM
Evan Hunter, who wrote the Ed McBain 87th Precinct detective series as well as novels including "The Blackboard Jungle," died of cancer of the larynx, his agent said. He was 78.


Writing as McBain, he pioneered the police procedural genre with his 87th Precinct series, which grew to more than 50 titles as it tracked a detective squad in a gritty city not unlike Hunter's hometown of New York. Among titles in the series were "Eighty Million Eyes,""Widows," and "Money, Money, Money."

He won the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement in 1986, and in 1999 became the first American to take the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association.

Hunter also helped Alfred Hitchcock adapt the screenplay for the 1963 film "The Birds."

Before he became McBain, Hunter had already began writing under his own name, drawing on his own experience as a teacher to pen 1954's "The Blackboard Jungle," a story of big-city school violence that became the 1955 film starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier.


07-07-2005, 09:15 PM
Thanks, William. "The Blackboard Jungle" was mandatory reading in my high school.

07-07-2005, 11:05 PM
Oh, I hadn't heard. I must have 20 or 30 Hunter/McBain titles in the house, and read all the ones my local libraries had as I moved throughout my young adult years.

I think I was in love with Carella. Or Cotton Hawes.

Rest easy, Mr. Hunter. You did good work which will live on.

07-08-2005, 01:36 AM
Yes. I read all his stuff as well. A sad loss.

James D. Macdonald
07-08-2005, 04:30 AM
Mr. Hunter was one of my neighbors when I was growing up.

William Haskins
07-08-2005, 04:38 AM
did you ever have a chance to connect with him on literary matters?