Born as Harold Rubin in New York City, he later claimed to be a Jewish orphan who had been raised in a Catholic boys home. In reality he was the son of well-educated Russian and Polish immigrants. He was reared by his pharmacist father and stepmother in Brooklyn.
His first book, Never Love a Stranger (1948), caused controversy with its graphic sexuality. Publisher Pat Knopf reportedly bought Never Love a Stranger because "it was the first time he had ever read a book where on one pag...more