Hugh Merrill was a native of Anniston, Alabama, where he attended schools before graduating from the University of Alabama. His varied career has included journalism, filmmaking, magazine editing, as well as being a radio DJ, author and playwright. Politically progressive, he quite often clashed with the publishers of the newspapers and magazines where he worked. Later in life Merrill wrote three books and taught journalism at universities in Pensacola and Birmingham. He passed away of a heart attack on December 29, 2015 in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Red Hot Typewriter: The Life & Times of John D. MacDonald
- "The text is peppered with quotes from MacDonald on the subjects he cared most about: the environment and how to make money from the writing game. For anyone interested in the history of publishing in the paperback era, the life of John D. MacDonald is the ultimate primary source." óBill Ott, Booklist. August 2016.