Harry Mazer Biography


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Harry Mazer was born on May 31, 1925, in New York City. His parents, Sam and Rose Lazernick Mazer, were both dressmakers in a factory. His family of cousins, aunts, and uncles were Polish and Russian Jewish immigrants. During Mazer's childhood, reading was his greatest pleasure. However, since there were few books in his parents' home, mostly sets of classics that were obtained through various newspaper promotions, the library became the place that could satisfy his hunger for reading. As a young boy, he had a plan to read all the books in the library, starting with the letter A. During high school, he made some attempts at writing, but was not satisfied with the results. All he could do, he said, was compare what he had written with the classics he had read, and the contrast made his efforts seem hopeless. Still, he dreamed of writing.

After graduating from Union College in 1948, Mazer married Norma Fox, who also loved books and was a writer. During the early years of their marriage, though, life provided few opportunities for Mazer to write. Kept busy with the business of being a husband, father, and provider, he worked at various times as a longshoreman, railroad worker, teacher, welder, and iron worker. However, he became more and more dissatisfied with this work and yearned to devote his attention to writing. Mazer credits his wife, Norma, with encouraging him to pursue his writing career. While trying to support his family by working at various jobs, he and his wife would rise at 3:30 in...

(The entire section is 615 words.)