Gerold Frank: American nonfiction writer (1907 - 1998)
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Gerold Frank
American nonfiction writer

Gerold Frank

Gerold Frank
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American nonfiction writer
Was Writer Biographer
From United States of America
Field Literature Science
Gender male
Birth 2 August 1907, Cleveland
Death 17 September 1998, Philadelphia (aged 91 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


Gerold Frank (August 2, 1907 – September 17, 1998) was an American author and ghostwriter. He wrote several celebrity memoirs and was considered a pioneer of the "as told to" form of (auto)biography. His two best-known books, however, are The Boston Strangler (1966), which was adapted as the 1968 movie starring Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda, and An American Death (1972), about the assassination of Martin Luther King.


Frank was born in 1907 in Cleveland, Ohio, where his father was a tailor and owned a dress shop. He graduated from Ohio State University and moved to Greenwich Village as an aspiring poet. Later he worked for a newspaper in Cleveland. He wrote some articles published by The New Yorker and The Nation and eventually returned to New York City where he worked for Journal-American.

Frank wrote about the lives of Eastern European Jews before the Holocaust. In 1934 he made a film about life in a Polish shtetl, featuring the lives of his parents and his wife Lilian. It included rare scenes of the Warsaw Ghetto, which Frank donated to the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.

Frank was a war correspondent in the Middle East during World War II, and he collaborated with Bartley Crum on a book about the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine, Behind the Silken Curtain: a Personal Account of Anglo-American Diplomacy in Palestine and the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, 1947).

He wrote a biography of Judy Garland entitled Judy (1975), considered by many to be the definitive book on Garland, and co-wrote Zsa Zsa Gabor's autobiography Zsa Zsa Gabor: My Story (1960). I'll Cry Tomorrow (1954), co-written with Lillian Roth and columnist Mike Connolly, was an international bestseller, more than seven million copies in more than twenty languages. It was adapted as a 1955 movie by Frank among others and Susan Hayward was nominated for the Oscar in the starring role as Lillian Roth.

Frank won the annual "Best Fact Crime" Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America twice, for The Deed (1963), a book about the assassination of Lord Moyne, as well as for The Boston Strangler (1966).

According to Mr. Frank's son John, he wrote at least 17 books including some as a ghostwriter without credit, or with an acknowledgment alone.

Gerold and Lilian Frank had two children, a son and a daughter.

Selected works

  • Out in the Boondocks: marines in action in the Pacific; 21 U.S. marines tell their stories (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1943), by James D. Horan and Frank
  • U.S.S. Seawolf, submarine raider of the Pacific (Putnam, 1945), by Frank and James D. Horan with [Joseph Melvin] Eckberg
  • I'll Cry Tomorrow (Frederick Fell, 1954), by Lillian Roth in collaboration with Mike Connolly and Frank
  • Too Much, Too Soon (Henry Holt and Company, 1957), by Diana Barrymore and Frank — filmed in 1958
  • Beloved Infidel: the education of a woman, by Sheilah Graham and Frank (Holt, 1958)
  • Zsa Zsa Gábor: my story, written for me by Gerold Frank (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1960), with Zsa Zsa Gábor
  • The Deed (Simon & Schuster, 1963) – about Lord Moyne, assassinated 1944
  • Latin American mission; an adventure in hemisphere diplomacy (Simon & Schuster, 1965), ed. and introd. by Frank — about deLesseps S. Morrison, U.S. ambassador to OAS, 1961–63, autobiographical
  • The Boston Strangler (New American Library, 1966)
  • Judy (Harper & Row, 1975)
  • An American Death: the true story of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the greatest manhunt of our time (Doubleday, 1972) – about Martin Luther King, assassinated 1968

Films adapted from his books

  • I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)
  • Too Much, Too Soon (1958), or Too Much, Too Soon: The Daring Story of Diana Barrymore
  • Beloved Infidel (1959)
  • The Boston Strangler (1968)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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