An Iowa-born author of long and short fiction, he is best known for his 1953 novel, 7½ Cents. The work was the inspiration for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, The Pajama Game.
He graduated from Harvard University in 1965. His first published work, A Stretch on the River (1950), was based on his earlier experiences as a tugboat operator.
His bestselling work, 7½ Cents, was based on his personal experience with his family's garment business.
He was born in Dubuque, Iowa. His great-grandfather founded the H. B. Glover Company, which his father managed.
Like Mark Twain, he had a lifelong love of the Mississippi River.