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Harold Robbins (May 21, 1916 – October 14, 1997) was one of the best-selling American authors of all time. During his career, he wrote over 25 best-sellers, selling over 750 million copies in 32 languages. Born as 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 immigrants. He was reared by his pharmacist father and stepmother in Brooklyn. His first wife was his high school sweetheart 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.