May 23, 2017

Robert Ludlum

About Robert Ludlum

Robert Ludlum wrote American thrillers. Their violent and fast paced action, caused them to sell worldwide, to the tune of an amazing 290 million copies. Ludlum began his literary career fairly late, working first as an actor and a producer in the theater. His special skills were in capturing his readers’ imaginations right from the first page, and keeping them absorbed in his story to the end. While critics thought his style a bit melodramatic, and the plots a little far-fetched, he often times would use material from the current events of international politics at that time.

The characteristic of Ludlum’s stories will be best described as a ‘paranoid world view’. A world where global corporations along with shady military and government organizations, are undermining the status quo. His heroes are thrown into various webs of intrigue, so they aren’t able to tell friend from foe. Then finally, bucking all the odds, they end up defeating what seemed to be superior adversaries.

New York City born, Robert Ludlum’s grew up in New Jersey. His father’s name was George Harford Ludlum, a businessman who died in 1934. Ludlum was privately educated, and attended ‘Cheshire Academy’ in Connecticut. Before he acted on Broadway in a comedy called ‘Junior Miss’ when he was 16, he’d already been appearing in school theatrics. His main ambition though was to play quarterback in football. He tried to join the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, but failed, winding up serving as infantryman in the Marin Corps. from 1945-1947. He was stationed in the South Pacific, and this is where he wrote a 200 page manuscript of his impressions there. After studying at Wesleyan university, in Middletown, He received a BA in 1951. That same year he was married to an actress named Mary Ryducha, with whom he had three children.

From mid-70′s, Ludlum was writing full time. He moved his family from Leonia, New Jersey to Long Island, and bought a 200 year old clapboard farmhouse. They had their second home in Florida. He traveled extensively collecting background material to put in his novels. Soon Paris became his most beloved city. The Bourne identity (1980), started off as a whole series of novels, where an American counter-assassin, with a near superhuman enemy (Carlos), have confrontations in various places all over the world. The Carlos character is based partly on Ramirez Sanchez, a Venezuelan born terrorist, who was captured in real life in Sudan in 1994.

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