An American author, attorney, professor, and journalist, he is best known for such crime novels as The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1970) and Cogan's Trade (1974). Also a newspaper columnist, he wrote for such prominent publications as the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe.
After graduating from Boston College and Stanford University, he worked as a deputy assistant attorney general in his native Massachusetts.
His full name was George Vincent Higgins II.
Following his 1979 divorce from Elizabeth Mulkerin Higgins, he married Loretta Cubberley Higgins.
His novel Coogan's Trade was made into Killing Them Softly, a film starring Brad Pitt.