Born in Ripley, Tennessee in 1932, Clark Howard is one of the most honored mystery writers in America and has long been a favorite of readers of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and numerous other publications.
A professional writer for over 40 years, he has written sixteen novels, six books of non-fiction, and has two published collections of short stories, in addition to more than 200 uncollected short stories. While versed in many genres, he is best known for his crime fiction and mystery stories which have won the prestigious Edgar Alan Poe Award, five Ellery Queen Readers Award, the Derringer Award, and have been nominated for the Anthony, Shamus and Spur Awards.
His stories have been adapted for film (The Big Town was based on his novel THE ARM) and television, which included the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series. His original screen play Last of the Good Guys was a featured Movie of the Week on CBS, and his non-fiction book SIX AGAINST THE ROCK was also a television movie.
His work has been translated into numerous languages and he has a large following of faithful readers in several countries, particularly in China and Japan where his writing appears regularly.
A ward of Cook County by age 12, Clark Howard grew up on the lower West Side of Chicago, living in a succession of foster homes, from which he habitually ran away. During this period, he was an amateur boxer for the Midwest Athletic Club on the West Side. But soon, in his mid teens, he became a confirmed juvenile delinquent and was eventually sent to a reformatory. Later he was allowed go live with his maternal grandmother in a small town near Memphis, Tennessee.
He discovered two new worlds in the South of the late 1940s — old time Negro jazz music and ‘heads up’ crap shooting, the latter of which later became the subject of THE ARM, his first novel.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and served as a rocket launcher gunner in the Punchbowl in Korea. He was one of eight survivors in a platoon that survived the battle of the high ground north of the Punchbowl. He was discharged from the marines at age 20.
He entered journalism school at Northwestern University in Chicago under the GI Bill, but left after one semester when his writing was judged by his professor as being “undisciplined and of no commercial value.” Unknown to the professor, he had already sold two short stories to New York magazines.
Clark Howard now makes his home in Palm Springs, California. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Author’s Guild, and Writers Guild of America.
He was awarded a Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in January 2011 in recognition for his contributions to literature, particularly the genre of American short stories.