Mary Higgins Clark Facts

Mary Higgins Clark Facts
Mary Higgins Clark is an American author well known for her bestselling suspense novels. She was born Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins on December 24th, 1927 in the Bronx, New York to Luke and Nora Higgins. Mary had one older brother Joseph and a younger brother John. Mary wrote her first poem when she was seven years old and wrote plays for her friends to act out. Mary Higgins Clark graduated from grammar school with a scholarship to Villa Maria Academy where teachers encouraged her to pursue writing. She worked as a secretary after high school graduation, and worked as a Pan Am flight attendant. Her first short story was published in1956.
Interesting Mary Higgins Clark Facts:
When Mary Higgins Clark was a teenager she worked as a switchboard operator at a hotel where she often eavesdropped on Tennessee Williams' phone calls.
Mary married Warren Clark in 1949. She quit working as a flight attendant (she didn't like flying), and took writing courses at NYU.
Mary Higgins Clark first short story Stowaway was published in 1956 in Extension Magazine. It had been rejected 40 times over six years. She was paid $100.
Mary and Warren had five children together. Warren died in 1964.
Mary Higgins Clark began writing radio scripts after her first husband died, to help pay the bills and raise her five children.
In 1960 Mary Higgins Clark's short story Beauty Contest at Buckingham was named by The Saturday Evening Post as one of their 10 best that year. Unfortunately the short story market was collapsing.
Mary's agent encouraged her to write a novel, as the radio scripts and short stories were not earning enough money.
Mary's first novel Aspire to the Heavens was published in 1968. It was a book about George Washington.
In 1971 Mary Higgins Clark enrolled at Fordham University to set a good example for her children's education, and in 1979 she graduated with a BA in philosophy.
All of Mary's children went on to become successful in their chosen fields, including Mary's daughter Carol who also became a suspense novelist.
Mary Higgins Clark's second novel was Where are the Children? It was published in 1975, and immediately became a bestseller. It was her first suspense novel. She was paid $3000 by Simon and Schuster, but the paperback rights sold shortly after for $100,000. With the success of her second novel Where are the Children? Mary's financial troubles were over.
Mary Higgins Clark's second suspense novel sold for $1.5 million.
Mary Higgins Clark married Raymond Ploetz in 1978 but she had it annulled in 1986.
In 1996 Mary Higgins Clark married John J. Conheeney.
Mary Higgins Clark has written more than 24 suspense novels and sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone. Her novels are bestsellers around the world.
Several of Mary Higgins Clark's novels have been adapted into movies including A Stranger is Watching, Where are the Children?, We'll Meet Again, Lucky Day, and All Around the Town.
Mary Higgins Clark has won many awards for her writing including the Horatio Alger Award (1997), the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University Spirit of Achievement Award (1994), and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2001), among many others.
Mary Higgins Clark has received 18 honorary doctorates.

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