Author, Writer, Personal Growth, Relationships, Family
Born and raised in New York, Mary Higgins Clark is of Irish descent. "The Irish are, by nature, storytellers," says Clark, who considers her Irish heritage an important influence on her writing.
Mary's father died when she was ten. Her mother struggled to bring up Mary and her two brothers. After graduating from high school, Mary went to secretarial school, so she could get a job and help her mother with the family finances. After working for three years in an advertising agency, travel fever seized her. For the year 1949, she was a stewardess on Pan American Airlines' international flights, to see the world. "My run was Europe, Africa and Asia," Mary recalls. "I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down. I flew for a year and then got married."
She married a neighbor, Warren Clark. Nine years her senior, she had known him since she was 16. Soon after her marriage, she started writing short stories. She sold her first short story to Extension Magazine in 1956 for $100, after six years and forty rejection slips. "I framed that first letter of acceptance," she recalls.
Mary was left a young widow with five children by the death of her husband, Warren Clark, from a heart attack in 1964. She went to work writing radio scripts and, in addition, decided to write books.
Every morning, she got up at 5 and wrote until 7, when she had to get the kids ready for school. Her first book was a biographical novel about the life of George Washington, Aspire to the Heavens. "It was remaindered as it came off the press," she says of her first try. Next, she decided to write a suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, which became a bestseller and marked a turning point in her life and career.
Mary decided to take time for things she had always wanted to do. So far, she had put all her energies into her children's education. Now she was going to catch up on her own. In 1974, she entered Fordham University at Lincoln Center and graduated summa cum laude in 1979, with a B.A. in philosophy. In May 1988, she returned to her alma mater as commencement speaker. She is a trustee of Fordham University and a member of the Board of Regents at St. Peter's College. She has thirteen honorary doctorates.
After many years of widowhood, she married John J. Conheeney, retired Merrill Lynch Futures CEO, on November 30, 1996. They now live in Saddle River, New Jersey; they also have an apartment in Manhattan and summer homes in Spring Lake, New Jersey and Dennis, Massachusetts. Between them, they have a large family -- Mary Higgins Clark has five children and six grandchildren, and her husband has four children and nine grandchildren.
Mary Higgins Clark, 'Queen of Suspense,' visits Wilton Library
Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark is one of six authors visiting Wilton Library in May. She will be at the library May 3 at 7 p.m. to discuss her latest mystery novel, "Daddy's Gone A Hunting." Books will be available for purchase and signing ...
Mary Higgins Clark: 'First it is the situation, then the characters'
The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
Mary Higgins Clark, a constant on best-seller lists, a scrapper who survived tough times and worked, among other jobs, as a Pan Am stewardess, is on a quixotic mission. She is determined to correct people's wrong impressions of her beloved home borough ...
Towns are Reading Baldacci, Brown, Higgins Clark and Patterson's Latest Novels
"Daddy's Gone a Hunting," by Mary Higgins Clark. "Fly Away," by Kristin Hannah. "Francona: The Red Sox Years," by Terry Francona. "Gone Girl," by Gillian Flynn. "Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal," by Mary Roach. "Inferno," by Dan Brown. "Life ...
Higgins Clark award for Hank Phillippi Ryan
Hank Phillippi Ryan, an Emmy-award winning reporter with Boston's NBC affiliate, WHDH-TV, was awarded the Mary Higgins Clark Award for her book, "The Other Woman,'' by the Mystery Writers of America. While the Edgars honor the best mystery works of ...
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