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Herman Wouk

From Academic Kids

Herman Wouk (born May 27, 1915) is a bestselling American author, with a number of notable novels to his credit, including The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance.

He was born in New York City, into a Jewish family that had immigrated from Russia, and received an A.B. from Columbia University. He was first a radio scriptwriter, and worked with Fred Allen, then in 1941 worked for the United States government on radio spots selling war bonds.

Wouk then joined the United States Navy and served in the Pacific Theater, an experience he later characterized as educational; "I learned about machinery, I learned how men behaved under pressure, and I learned about Americans." His first ship was the USS Zane, then he was second-in-command on the Southard. He started his writing career onboard, working on a novel during his off-duty hours.

He married Betty Sarah Brown in 1945, with whom he had three sons, became a fulltime writer in 1946, and published his debut novel, Aurora Dawn in 1947.

In 1952, The Caine Mutiny received the Pulitzer Prize. In 1998, he received the Guardian of Zion Award.

Wouk hired highly-qualified young historians to assist him with the research for his historical novels, so the history in them is for the most part highly accurate. Experts have also described the earlier chapters of The Caine Mutiny as one of the best depictions in print of daily life onboard a smaller US ship in the Pacific Theater of WWII.

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