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James Jones
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Author
    (November 6, 1921-May 9, 1977)
    Born in Robinson, Illinois
    Wrote the WWII trilogy 'From Here to Eternity' (1951), 'The Thin Red Line' (1962) and 'Whistle' (completed posthumously by Willie Morris, 1978)
    Also wrote 'Some Came Running' (1957), 'The Ice-Cream Headache and Other Stories' (1968) and 'The Merry Month of May' (1971)
    Before settling down for a day's writing, he would smoke half a pack of cigarettes and drink six or seven cups of coffee.
    He used the same characters in his World War II trilogy, but changed their names in each book.
    He admitted that he made the name changes because, before deciding to write a trilogy, he killed off one of the main characters in the first book.
    He said, 'I do think that the quality which makes a man want to write and be read is essentially a desire for self-exposure. Like one of those guys who has a compulsion to take his thing out and show it on the street.'
    He was a Golden Gloves welterweight boxer.
    He was wounded during the Battle of Guadalcanal.
    He financially supported fellow writers.
    Joseph Heller said 'From Here to Eternity' and 'The Thin Red Line' were 'among the best war literature of Americans. Probably for this reason: It is one of the few war books written by somebody who was there, in the military and in combat.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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