An American novelist and short fiction writer, he is most known for works such as Twelve Tales of Suspense and the Supernatural (1964) and Fools' Parade (1969). His bestselling 1953 novel, The Night of the Hunter, was a finalist for the National Book Award.
After graduating from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, he worked as a writer for NBC radio.
He gave up painting because he was color blind.
He grew up in West Virginia and moved to New York City during the 1940s. He had a beloved dog named Rowdy Charlie.
Some of his stories were adapted for television by legendary director Alfred Hitchcock.