Charles McCarry Biography


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Charles McCarry was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on June 14, 1930. His father, Albert, was a farmer and his mother, Madeleine Rees McCarry, was an avid reader who inspired her son’s love of literature. On September 12, 1953, McCarry married Nancy Neill. They have four sons. McCarry’s home is in the Berkshires, where generations of his family have lived.

McCarry’s novels draw extensively on his experience as a journalist, government official, and CIA agent. From 1952 to 1955, he was a reporter and editor on the Lisbon Evening Journal in Ohio. He spent another year (1955-1956) on the Youngstown Vindicator in Ohio as a reporter and columnist. His government service began as an assistant to the secretary of labor in Washington, D.C. (1956-1957). From 1958 to 1967, McCarry worked for the CIA. He worked as a freelance writer from 1967 to 1983. His last job in journalism was at the National Geographic, where he served as editor at large from 1983 to 1990.

Although McCarry is best known for his espionage thrillers, he has simultaneously fashioned an impressive career in nonfiction. His well-received biography, Citizen Nader, appeared in 1972. The subject of this biography, a maverick public activist beholden to no institution, is not so different, in some respects, from McCarry’s series hero, Paul Christopher, who is constantly confronting and sometimes flouting the Outfit’s strict protocols. Indeed, in The Tears of Autumn (1975), when Christopher’s desire to investigate the John F. Kennedy assassination goes way beyond what...

(The entire section is 655 words.)