A twentieth-century American author, he is best known for his popular 1944 novel, The Lost Weekend, which describes a five-day alcoholic binge in Manhattan. He is also remembered for his second novel, The Fall of Valor (1946).
After briefly attending Syracuse University, he worked as a freelance journalist in New York City.
His brother and sister were both killed in a train and automobile collision.
He married Rhoda Copland Booth in 1938.
His novel, The Lost Weekend, was made into a feature film directed by Billy Wilder.