MacDonald's literary career began in 1945 when, while in military service, he wrote a short story and mailed it home to his wife who first submitted it to "Esquire" magazine, where it was rejected, and then submitted to "Story" magazine, where it was accepted for $25.00. After his discharge from service, he continued to write short stories that kept being rejected until a sale to "Dime Detective" set his career in motion. He ended up selling close to 500 stories to the detective, mystery, adventure, sports, western and science fiction pulps. With the boom of paperback novels, MacDonald successfully made the jump to longer fiction with his first novel, "The Brass Cupcake". After a couple of years, and for almost a decade, MacDonald focused on writing crime thrillers, many of which are now considered masterpieces of the hardboiled genre.
Although the McGee novels are what MacDonald is best known for, his stories from the '40s and '50s represent probably his best work. "Dead on Christmas Street" and "Who's the Blonde" are two short stories from two 1952 issues of "Collier's".
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About the Author
Widely regarded as a master of crime fiction, John Dann MacDonald (1916-1986) was the author of the critically acclaimed Travis McGee mystery series, numerous novels, and many short-stories. His book, The Executioners, was adapted into the film Cape Fear. MacDonald remains one of the most significant modern authors — authors from Stephen King to Kurt Vonnegut have cited him as one of their influences. In 1972, MacDonald received the Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America, and in 1980 he won a National Book Award for his Travis McGee novel, The Green Ripper, in the one-year category Mystery. He lived in Florida and died in 1986.
Date of Birth:July 24, 1916
Date of Death:December 28, 1986
Place of Birth:Sharon, PA
Place of Death:Milwaukee, WI
Education:Syracuse University 1938; M.B. A. Harvard University, 1939