Suspense Writers

by kennywolf | created - 12 Dec 2011 | updated - 10 Sep 2014 | Public

1. Richard Matheson

Writer | Jaws 3-D

Born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, Richard Burton Matheson first became a published author while still a child, when his stories and poems ran in the "Brooklyn Eagle". A lifelong reader of fantasy tales, he made his professional writing bow in 1950 when his short story "Born of Man and ...

2. Charles Beaumont

Writer | Night of the Eagle

Charles Beaumont was the pseudonym for Charles Leroy Nutt, born on Chicago's North Side on January 2 1929. He also occasionally wrote under the names Charles McNutt and E.T. Beaumont (the latter apparently based on the name of a Texas town). Tragically short-lived, Beaumont was a dynamic and ...

3. Ray Bradbury

Writer | Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury was an American science fiction writer whose works were translated in more than 40 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Although he created a world of new technical and intellectual ideas, he never obtained a driver's license and had never driven a car.

He was born ...

4. H.G. Wells

Writer | The War of the Worlds

Writer, born in Bromley, Kent. He was apprenticed to a draper, tried teaching, studied biology in London, then made his mark in journalism and literature. He played a vital part in disseminating the progressive ideas which characterized the first part of the 20th-c. He achieved fame with scientific...

5. Robert Bloch

Writer | Psycho

Robert Bloch was born on April 5, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Robert Albert Bloch. He was a writer, known for Psycho (1960), Psycho (1998) and Star Trek (1966). He was married to Eleanor Zalisko Alexander and Marion Holcombe. He died on September 23, 1994 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

6. Stephen King

Writer | Maximum Overdrive

Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth (Pillsbury), who worked as a caregiver at a mental institute, and Donald Edwin King, a merchant seaman. His father was born under the surname "Pollock", but used the last name ...

7. Henry Slesar

Writer | The Edge of Night

Advertiser-turned-author who wrote hundreds of short stories, many under the pseudonym O.H. Leslie. He is best known for his mysteries.

8. Edgar Allan Poe

Writer | Eliza Graves

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, named David Poe Jr., and his mother, named Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, were touring actors. Both parents died in 1811, and Poe became an orphan before he was 3 years old. He was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco ...

9. Robert Louis Stevenson

Writer | Treasure Planet

Robert Louis Stevenson was born on November 13, 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a writer, known for Treasure Planet (2002), The Body Snatcher (1945) and Jekyll & Hyde. He was married to Fanny Osbourne. He died on December 3, 1894 in Vailima, Samoa.

10. H.P. Lovecraft

Writer | Re-Animator

Born in Providence, Lovecraft was a sickly child whose parents died insane. When he was 16, he wrote the astronomy column in the Providence Tribune. Between 1908 and 1923, he wrote short stories for Weird Tales magazine, among others. He died in Providence, in poverty, on March 15, 1937. His most ...

11. Dean R. Koontz

Writer | Odd Thomas

Dean R. Koontz was born on July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania, USA as Dean Ray Koontz. He is a writer and producer, known for Odd Thomas (2013), Phantoms (1998) and Watchers (1988). He has been married to Gerda Ann Cerra since October 15, 1966.

12. Clive Barker

Writer | Hellraiser

Clive Barker was born on October 5, 1952 in Liverpool, England. He is a writer, known for Hellraiser (1987), Nightbreed (1990) and Candyman (1992).

13. Mary Shelley

Writer | Young Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin; 30 August 1797 - 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel "Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus" (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her...

14. Tom Clancy

Writer | The Hunt for Red October

Tom Clancy became one of the best-selling writers of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries, starting with the publication of his 1984 thriller, The Hunt for Red October (1990). Born in Baltimore to a U.S. Post Office employee and his wife on April 12, 1947, Clancy graduated from Loyola Blakefield,...

15. Harlan Ellison

Writer | The Twilight Zone

Author Harlan Ellison was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Serita (Rosenthal) and Louis Laverne Ellison. He had an older sister, Beverly. Harlan was married five times. He lived in Sherman Oaks at "Ellison Wonderland". He had the same address and phone number for decades, was a non-smoker and ...

16. John Grisham

Writer | Runaway Jury

A graduate of Mississippi State University and Ole Miss Law School, John Grisham obtained his law degree in 1981 and practiced law for about 10 years, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. He was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1983 and served until...

17. Robert A. Heinlein

Writer | Starship Troopers

At the age of 17, Heinlein graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He spent one year at the University of Missouri before he entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, from which he graduated as the 20th best among the 243 cadets. He spent five years in the Pacific ...

18. Rod Serling

Writer | The Twilight Zone

John Phillips is the name used by longtime television and film writer Rod Serling when he asked that his real name be removed as the writer of the pilot episode of the series "The New People" in 1969. While Serling's name remained as series developer, he was sufficiently annoyed with ABC- TV's ...

19. Jack Finney

Writer | Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Walter Braden "Jack" Finney was an American writer, mainly known for his contributions to the science-fiction genre. His most popular novels are "The Body Snatchers" (1955) and "Time and Again} (1970), although throughout his career he published nearly 50 novels that encompass the noir, thriller ...

20. Philip K. Dick

Writer | Blade Runner

Philip Kindred Dick was born in Chicago in December 1928, along with a twin sister, Jane. Jane died less than eight weeks later, allegedly from an allergy to mother's milk. Dick's parents split up during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Berkeley, California, where he lived for most of...

21. Alexandre Dumas

Writer | The Count of Monte Cristo

His paternal grandparents were Marie Cessete Dumas (a Haitian slave) and Marquis Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie. Antoine disapproved of their son, Thomas-Alexandre, joining the French army under the "Davy de la Pailleterie" name, so Thomas-Alexandre used his mother's surname instead. He became a ...

22. Thomas Harris

Writer | The Silence of the Lambs

Thomas Harris was born in 1940 in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. He was raised in the town of Rich where his father worked as a farmer. He earned his bachelor's degree in English from Baylor University in Texas in 1964. While attending school, he also worked for the local newspaper.

After graduating, ...

23. Roger Corman

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Roger William Corman was born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan. Initially following in his father's footsteps, Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but while in school, he began to lose interest in the profession and developed a growing passion for film. Upon graduation, he worked a...

24. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

25. Roald Dahl

Writer | The Witches

Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916. He served as a fighter pilot in the British R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) during World War II. He made a forced landing in the Libyan Desert and was severely injured. As a result, he spent five months in a Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. Dahl is known for how he ...

26. Wes Craven

Writer | A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold vision.

Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Caroline (Miller) and Paul Eugene Craven. He had a midwestern suburban upbringing. His first feature film was The Last House on ...

27. William Shakespeare

Writer | M the Movie

William Shakespeare's birthdate is assumed from his baptism on April 25. His father John was the son of a farmer who became a successful tradesman; his mother Mary Arden was gentry. He studied Latin works at Stratford Grammar School, leaving at about age 15. About this time his father suffered an ...

28. D.C. Fontana

Writer | Star Trek: The Next Generation

D.C. Fontana was born on March 25, 1939 in Sussex, New Jersey, USA as Dorothy Catherine Fontana. She is known for her work on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Star Trek (1966) and The Six Million Dollar Man (1974).

29. Ernest Hemingway

Writer | To Have and Have Not

Ernest Hemingway was an American writer who won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954) for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, which was made into a 1958 film The Old Man and the Sea (1958).

He was born into the hands of his physician father. He was the second of six ...

30. Tod Browning

Director | Dracula

Belonging to a well-situated family, Charles Browning fell in love at the age of 16 with a dancer of a circus. Following her began his itinerary of being clown, jockey and director of a variety theater which ended when he met D.W. Griffith and became an actor. He made his debut in Intolerance: ...

31. Mario Puzo

Writer | The Godfather

Mario Puzo was born October 15, 1920, in "Hell's Kitchen" on Manhattan's (NY) West Side and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, "The Godfather," was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels...

32. Joss Whedon

Writer | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon. Whedon was ...

33. Mick Garris

Writer | Amazing Stories

Born in Santa Monica, California, on December 4, 1951, Mick Garris grew up with his mother in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Van Nuys from age 12, following his parents' divorce. Garris was making his own 8mm home movies around that time, and when he got older be became a freelance critic ...

34. Curt Siodmak

Writer | The Invisible Man Returns

Born in Dresden, Germany, in 1902, Curt Siodmak worked as an engineer and a newspaper reporter before entering the literary and movie fields. It was as a reporter that he got his first break (of sorts) in films: in 1926 he and his reporter-wife hired on as extras on Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) ...

35. Peter Benchley

Writer | Jaws

Grandson of famed humorist and actor Robert Benchley and the son of highly respected children's books author Nathaniel Benchley, novelist Peter Benchley's book were decidedly more dramatic in their content and style than his father's, and usually centered on the world's oceans as a backdrop to his ...

36. Pierre Boileau

Writer | Vertigo

Pierre Boileau was born on April 28, 1906 in Paris, France as Pierre Louis Boileau. He was a writer, known for Vertigo (1958), Diabolique (1955) and Diabolique (1996). He died on January 16, 1989 in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France.

37. Jerome Bixby

Writer | The Man from Earth

Father of Emerson Bixby, Leonardo Brook Bixby and Russell Albert Ludwig Bixby.



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