Leon Marcus Uris (August 3, 1924 – June 21, 2003) was an American
author of historical fiction who wrote two bestselling books, Exodus
(published in 1958) and Trinity (published in 1976).
1 Life and career
1.1 Personal life
3 Selected titles
4 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
Life and career
Uris was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Jewish American
parents Wolf William and Anna (née Blumberg) Uris. His father, a
Polish-born immigrant, was a paperhanger, then a storekeeper. His
mother was first-generation Russian American. William spent a year
in Palestine after
World War I
World War I before entering the United States. He
derived his last name from Yerushalmi, meaning "man of Jerusalem".
(His brother Aron, Leon's uncle, took the name Yerushalmi.) "He was
basically a failure", Uris later said of his father. "I think his
personality was formed by the harsh realities of being a Jew in
Czarist Russia. I think failure formed his character, made him
Israel in the 1950s
At age six, Uris reportedly wrote an operetta inspired by the death of
his dog. He attended schools in Norfolk, Virginia, and Baltimore, but
never graduated from high school, and failed English three times. When
he was 17 and in his senior year of high school, the Japanese attacked
Pearl Harbor and he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He
served in the South Pacific with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, where
he was stationed in New Zealand, and fought as a radioman in combat on
Guadalcanal and Tarawa from 1942 through 1944. He was sent to the
US after suffering from dengue fever, malaria and a recurrence of
asthma that made him miss his battalion's decimation at
featured in Battle Cry. While recuperating from malaria in San
Francisco, he met Betty Beck, a Marine sergeant; they married in 1945.
Coming out of the service, he worked for a newspaper, writing in his
spare time. Esquire magazine bought an article in 1950, and he began
to devote himself to writing more seriously. Drawing on his
Guadalcanal and Tarawa, he produced the best-selling
Battle Cry, a novel depicting the toughness and courage of U.S.
Marines in the Pacific. He then went to
Warner Brothers in Hollywood
helping to write the movie, which was extremely popular with the
public, if not the critics. He went on to write The Angry Hills, a
novel set in war-time Greece.
His best-known work may be Exodus, which was published in 1958. Most
sources indicate Uris, motivated by an intense interest in Israel,
financed his research for the novel by selling the film rights in
MGM and by writing newspaper articles about the Sinai
campaign. It is said that the book involved two years of
research, and involved thousands of interviews. Exodus illustrated
the history of Palestine from the late 19th century through the
founding of the state of
Israel in 1948. It was a
worldwide best-seller, translated into a dozen languages, and was made
into a feature film in 1960, starring Paul Newman, directed by Otto
Preminger, as well as into a short-lived Broadway musical (12
previews, 19 performances) in 1971. Uris' 1967 novel Topaz was
adapted for the screen and directed by
Alfred Hitchcock in 1969.
Uris's subsequent works included: Mila 18, about the Warsaw ghetto
uprising; Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin, a chronicle which ends with
the lifting of the Berlin Blockade in 1949; Trinity, about Irish
nationalism and the sequel, Redemption, covering the early 20th
century and World War I; QB VII, about the role of a Polish doctor in
a German concentration camp; and The Haj, set in the history of the
Middle East. He wrote the screenplays for Battle Cry and Gunfight at
the O.K. Corral. His work on the subject of
Israel has been criticized
for being biased against Arabs.
Uris was married three times. His first wife was Betty Beck, whom he
married in 1945. They had three children before divorcing in 1968. He
then married Marjorie Edwards in 1968, who committed suicide by
gunshot the following year.
His third and last wife was Jill Peabody, with whom he had two
children. They married in 1970, when she was 22 years old and he was
45; the couple divorced in 1989.
Leon Uris died of renal failure at his
Long Island home on Shelter
Island in 2003, aged 78. His papers can be found at the Harry
University of Texas
University of Texas in Austin. The collection includes
all of Uris's novels, with the exception of
The Haj and Mitla Pass, as
well as manuscripts for the screenplay, Gunfight at the O.K.
Battle Cry, 1953
The Angry Hills, 1955
Exodus Revisited, 1960 (GB title: In the Steps of Exodus)
Mila 18, 1961
Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin, 1963
The Third Temple (with Strike Zion by William Stevenson), 1967
QB VII, 1970
Ireland, A Terrible Beauty, 1975 (with Jill Uris)
Jerusalem: A Song of Songs, 1981 (with Jill Uris)
The Haj, 1984
Mitla Pass, 1988
A God in Ruins, 1999
O'Hara's Choice, 2003
World War II portal
United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps portal
List of bestselling novels in the United States
Leon Uris Dies at 78", The Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle Telegram,
June 25, 2003, p. A8.
^ Congressional Record, p. 16911
^ Hillel Italie AP national (June 2003). "Leon Uris, author of
'Exodus', novel of founding of Israel, and other" (news). Deseret
News. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
^ a b c "Movies". Retrieved February 10, 2018 – via
^ Nadel, Ira B. Leon Uris: Life of a Best Seller University of Texas
Press, 24 Sep. 2010
^ Leon Uris, 78, Who Wrote Sweeping Novels Like "Exodus," Dies
Archived January 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
New York Times
New York Times –
June 25, 2003
^ Chris Fujiwara (2009). The World and Its Double: The Life and Work
of Otto Preminger. Faber & Faber. p. 255.
ISBN 0-86547-995-X. 
^ Patricia Erens. The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University
Press, 1988. p. 217. ISBN 0-86547-995-X. 
^ Joel Shatzky; Michael Taub (1994). Contemporary Jewish-American
Novelists: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook. Greenwood Press. p. 440.
^ Burston, Bradley (November 9, 2012). "The 'Exodus' Effect: The
Israel That Remade American Jewry". Retrieved
February 10, 2018 – via Haaretz.
^ Homberger, Eric (June 25, 2003). "Obituary: Leon Uris". the
Guardian. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
^ "Exodus, myth and malpractice - Martin Kramer on the Middle East".
martinkramer.org. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
^ a b Travis Willmann. "Leon Uris's Exodus". Fall 2003 Newsletter,
Obituary. Harry Ransom Center,
University of Texas
University of Texas at Austin. Archived
from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
^ Elsner, Alan (April 24, 2013). "Re-reading Leon Uris' Exodus".
Retrieved February 10, 2018.
^ Broyard, Anatole (April 27, 1984). "Books of the Times;". Retrieved
February 10, 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
^ "THE HAJ by
Leon Uris - Kirkus Reviews". Retrieved February 10,
^ "Milestones: Feb. 28, 1969". Time magazine. February 28, 1969.
Retrieved January 3, 2011. Marjorie Uris, 26, former New York fashion
model who married Author
Leon Uris (Exodus, Topaz) six months ago;
apparently by her own hand (.38-cal. revolver); in Aspen, Colo.
Ira Nadel. Leon Uris: Life of a Best Seller (University of Texas
Press; 2010) 376 pages; scholarly biography
Leon Uris novel and screenplay manuscripts and other
Leon Uris at
Library of Congress
Library of Congress Authorities, with 30 catalog records
Jill Uris at LC Authorities, with 3 records
Battle Cry (1953)
The Angry Hills
The Angry Hills (1955)
Mila 18 (1961)
Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin (1963)
QB VII (1970)
The Haj (1984)
Mitla Pass (1988)
A God in Ruins
A God in Ruins (1999)
O'Hara's Choice (2003)
Battle Cry (1955)
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
Dering v Uris
ISNI: 0000 0001 1068 1901
BNF: cb11927359f (data)