A twentieth-century American novelist, he is best known for Little Big Man. His literary work spanned several genres, including crime and Utopian fiction.
After serving in the United States Army during World War II, he attended the University of Cincinnati, Columbia University and the New School for Social Research.
His 1983 novel, The Feud, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
He grew up in Lockland, Ohio. He married artist Jeanne Redpath in 1950.
His 1964 novel, Little Big Man, was made into a film by Arthur Penn.