Best selling author of Midnight Cowboy, James Leo Herlihy was born in 1927 to a working class family in Detroit, Michigan. He joined the Navy straight from high school in 1945, though did not see combat.
Herlihy then studied art, literature, and music at the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina, whose faculty boasted luminaries such as William De Kooning and John Cage.
After some success as an actor, in 1960 he published the critically acclaimed work All Fall Down.
He wrote for various television shows throughout the mid-'50s, and in 1958 Blue Denim enjoyed a successful run on Broadway. It was made into a film the following year. All Fall Down hit the big screen in 1962.
In 1965 he published Midnight Cowboy, which cemented his reputation as a serious writer.
Midnight Cowboy became one of the biggest film hits in history in 1968.
After the success of Midnight Cowboy, Herlihy retreated from the public eye and concentrated on teaching, giving classes in playwriting at New York's City College.
He died at his home in Los Angeles on October 21, 1993.
"Those who tell the stories rule society"
"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves"
- Henry David Thoreau
Always be yourself. No one can tell you you're doing it wrong.
- James Leo Herlihy
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