An American novelist and political satirist, he is known for his 1959 novel, The Manchurian Candidate, as well as for his Prizzi series of gangster novels. His other works include The Star-Spangled Crunch and Death of a Politician.
After serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine, he worked in Hollywood as a publicist, agent, and advertisement writer.
He has said that every single one of his books is about the abuse of power.
He was born in New York City. He married Evelyn Hunt in 1938.
His popular novel, The Manchurian Candidate, was made into a film starring Denzel Washington.