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Arthur Hailey

Born April 5, 1920, at Luton, England, Arthur Hailey was educated in Britain's free school system until he was forced to quit at the age of 14 because his parents couldn't afford to send him to a private finishing school.  He took a job as a clerk, which he kept until World War II erupted in Europe.  He joined the Royal Air Force and served in the flying corps, gaining the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

In 1947, he emigrated to Canada where he became a Canadian citizen and lived for nearly two decades.  He began writing full time in 1956.  Before that, he had worked in various professions, including real estate and magazine publishing.

In 1965, Hailey moved to California, where he would stay for four years.  After that--struck by wanderlust--he and his wife, Sheila, moved to the Bahamas.  Following the success of his widely acclaimed television play, Flight into Danger, he devoted himself completely to literature.

A well disciplined and prolific writer, Hailey turned out both novels and plays.  He wrote for theater and television, and his books have been translated into 27 languages.  He was the winner of several awards.  His novels include The Final Diagnosis about a hospital pathologist who accidentally causes an infant's death, Hotel, Airport, Wheels, The Moneychangers, and Strong Medicine.

His popular books reflect the work of a brilliant storyteller.  Hailey keeps his readers in suspense from start to finish, all the while filling in with a great deal of accurate and intriguing information.  His books are peopled with men and women whose private pressures and passions are magnified over those of the average person.  He depicts ordinary people thrown into very extraordinary situations.

"I don't think I really invented anybody," he once told the AP news agency in an interview.  "I have drawn on real life."

Arthur Hailey, who wrote 11 best sellers, died in his sleep on Nov. 24, 2004, at his home in New Providence in the Bahamas where he had been recovering from a stroke. 

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