Morrell in 2009
|Born||April 24, 1943|
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
|Alma mater||St. Jerome's University (University of Waterloo) (BA)|
Pennsylvania State University (MA, PhD)
|Notable works||First Blood|
Son: Matthew (deceased)
David Morrell (born April 24, 1943) is a Canadian-American novelist, best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, later adapted as the film of the same name, which went on to spawn the successful Rambo franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. He has written 28 novels, and his work has been translated into 30 languages. He also wrote the 2007–2008 Captain America comic book miniseries The Chosen.
Morrell was born on 24 April 1943 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, the son of Beatrice, an upholsterer, and George Morrell, a Royal Navy flier. He decided to become a writer at the age of 17, after being inspired by the writing in the classic television series Route 66. In 1966, Morrell received his B.A. in English from St. Jerome's University (affiliated with the University of Waterloo) and moved to the United States to study with Hemingway scholar Philip Young at Pennsylvania State University, where he would eventually receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in American literature.
During his time at Penn State he met science fiction writer Philip Klass, better known by the pseudonym William Tenn, who taught the basics of writing fiction. Morrell began work as an English professor at the University of Iowa in 1970. In 1972, his novel First Blood was published; it would eventually be made into the 1982 film of the same name starring Sylvester Stallone as Vietnam veteran John Rambo. Morrell continued to write many other novels, including The Brotherhood of the Rose, the first in a trilogy of novels, which was adapted into a 1989 NBC miniseries starring Robert Mitchum. He gave up his tenure at the university in 1986 in order to write full-time. In 1988 he received the Horror Writers Association award for best novella; Orange Is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity.
Morrell's teenaged son Matthew died of Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in 1987. In 2009 his granddaughter died of the same form of cancer. The trauma of his loss influenced Morrell's work, in particular in his creative fiction memoir about Matthew, Fireflies. The protagonist of Morrell's novel Desperate Measures also experiences the loss of a son.
Morrell is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School for wilderness survival as well as the G. Gordon Liddy Academy of Corporate Security. He is also an honorary lifetime member of the Special Operations Association and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
According to his website, he has been trained to handle firearms, crisis negotiation, assuming identities, executive protection, and defensive driving, among numerous other action skills that he describes in his novels. He earned an FAA licence to pilot his own small plane as part of research for his 2009 novel, The Shimmer.
- First Blood (1972) ISBN 0-446-36440-1
- Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) - novelization of the film of the same name ISBN 0-515-08399-2
- Rambo III (1988) - novelization of the film of the same name ISBN 0-515-09333-5
The Abelard Sanction series
- The Brotherhood of the Rose (1984) ISBN 0-449-20661-0
- The Fraternity of the Stone (1985) ISBN 0-449-20973-3
- The League of Night and Fog (1987) ISBN 0-449-21371-4
- The Abelard Sanction (short story)
Thomas De Quincey series
- Murder as a Fine Art (2013) ISBN 0-316-21678-X
- The Opium Eater: A Thomas De Quincey Story (short story) (2015)
- Inspector of the Dead (2015) ISBN 0-316-32393-4
- Ruler of the Night (2016) ISBN 978-0-316-30790-1
- Testament (1975) ISBN 0-446-69191-7
- Last Reveille (1977) ISBN 0-446-36442-8
- The Totem (1979) ISBN 0-446-36446-0
- Blood Oath (1982) ISBN 0-312-95345-3
- The Hundred-Year Christmas (1983) - illustrated by R. J. Krupowicz ISBN 0-937986-57-7
- Fifth Profession (1990) ISBN 1-59737-769-4
- The Covenant of the Flame (1991) ISBN 0-446-36292-1
- Assumed Identity (1993) ISBN 0-446-60070-9
- Desperate Measures (1994) ISBN 0-446-60239-6
- The Totem (1994) - unabridged ISBN 0-446-36446-0
- Extreme Denial (1996) ISBN 0-446-60396-1
- Double Image (1998) ISBN 0-446-60696-0
- Black Evening (short stories) (1999) ISBN 0-446-60864-5
- Burnt Sienna (2000) ISBN 0-446-60960-9
- Long Lost (2002) ISBN 0-446-61194-8
- The Protector (2003) ISBN 0-446-61403-3
- Nightscape (short stories) (2004) ISBN 0-7553-2174-X
- The Spy Who Came for Christmas (2008) ISBN 1-59315-701-0
- The Shimmer (2009) ISBN 1-59315-580-8
- The Naked Edge (2010) ISBN 1-937760-22-7
- John Barth: An Introduction (1976) ISBN 0-271-01220-X
- Fireflies (1988) ISBN 1-937760-29-4
- Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at His Craft (2002) ISBN 1-58297-270-2
- Captain America: The Chosen (2007–2008)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #700.1 & 700.2 (2013–2014)
- Savage Wolverine #23 (2014)
- Pullen, Rick (13 August 2020). "My First Thriller: David Morrell". CrimeReads. CrimeReads. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- Black Evening: Tales of Dark Suspense
- Morrell, David (November 3, 2018). "David Morrell - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
I had an exciting day yesterday. Decided to vote early. Born in Canada, I became a U.S. citizen in 1993. Since then, I've never missed voting in any election--schoolboard, city, state, national. It truly excites me to be able to do so.
- @_DavidMorrell (November 3, 2018). "I'm a Canadian immigrant who became a U.S. citizen. Since 1993, I never failed to vote in an election of any kind. Yesterday I proudly did so again" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "David Morrell". Retrieved 31 August 2010.
- "The 2011 Thriller Awards". ITW. Retrieved 2011-08-27.
- "Morrell, David" by Adam Meyer, in David Pringle (Editor), St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic writers. Detroit, MI : St. James Press, 1998, ISBN 1-55862-206-3.
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