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Leon Uris

From Academic Kids

Leon Uris (August 3, 1924 - June 21, 2003) was an American Jewish novelist, known for the amount of research he did for his novels.

Leon Uris was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Wolf William and Anna (Blumberg) Uris. His father, a Polish immigrant, was a paperhanger and then later a storekeeper. William spent a year in Palestine after World War I before entering the United States. He derived his surname from Yerushalmi, meaning man of Jerusalem. "He was basically a failure", Uris said later of his father. "He went from failure to failure."

Uris attended schools in Norfolk, Virginia, and Baltimore but never graduated from high school having flunked English three times. At the age of seventeen Uris joined the United States Marine Corps. He served in the South Pacific at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and New Zealand from 1942 to 1945. While recuperating from malaria in San Francisco, he met Betty Beck, a Marine sergeant. They married in 1945.

In 1950, Esquire magazine bought an article from him and this encouraged him to work on a novel. The result was the best seller Battle Cry, graphically showing the toughness and courage of U.S. Marines in the Pacific and The Angry Hills, a novel set in war-time Greece. As a screen writer and a newspaper correspondent, he became intensely interested in Israel which led to his best-known work, Exodus, which is about the founding of the state of Israel.

Later works include Mila 18, a stirring account of Jewish courage in the Warsaw ghetto, Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin, which reveals the detailed work by British and American intelligence services in planning for the occupation and pacification of post WWII Germany and in particular of Berlin, Trinity, an epic novel about Ireland's struggle for independence, QB VII, a chilling novel about the role of a Polish doctor in a German concentration camp, and The Haj, with insights into the history of the Middle East and the secret machinations of foreigners which have led to todays turmoil.

He also wrote the screenplays for Battle Cry and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.


Selected titles

  • Battle Cry, 1953
  • The Angry Hills, 1955
  • Exodus, 1958
  • Exodus Revisited, 1960 (GB title: In the Steps of Exodus)
  • Mila 18, 1961
  • Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin, 1963
  • Topaz, 1967
  • The Third Temple (with Strike Zion by William Stevenson), 1967
  • QB VII, 1970
  • Ireland, A Terrible Beauty, 1975 (with Jill Uris)
  • Trinity, 1976
  • Jerusalem: A Song of Songs, 1981 (with Jill Uris)
  • The Haj, 1984
  • Mitla Pass, 1988
  • Redemption, 1995
  • A God in Ruins, 1999
  • O'Hara's Choice, 2003

Note: Many of Uris's fans are of the opinion that his last two books, A God in Ruins and O'Hara's Choice, were so poorly written and so different in style from any previous work that they must have been written or heavily edited by someone else.de:Leon Uris nl:Leon Uris ja:レオン・ユリス he:ליאון יוריס

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