Richard Powell was born on November 28, 1908, in Philadelphia. He graduated from Princeton University and began work at a police reporter, writing fiction in his spare time. After selling a few stories, he joined an ad agency, then turned to writing mysteries, beginning with the successful Arab & Andy Blake series.
After serving in WWII on Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s staff, he moved his family—wife Marian and two children—to Florida, where he produced more mysteries. Powell turned to writing mainstream novels beginning with The Philadelphian in 1957, and to date there have been four films made from his books. He died on December 8, 1999, in Fort Myers, Florida.