An American novelist and television writer, he is known for such mysteries and crime thrillers as Odds Against Tomorrow and The Big Heat. He sometimes wrote under the pen name of Bill Peters.
He served in the Army in World War II and later studied at the University of Birmingham. He subsequently worked for the Philadelphia Bulletin as a crime reporter.
He moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s to focus on a screenwriting career.
He was born in Illinois, and he grew up in Alabama. He married Maureen Daly in 1947.
He wrote for Kojak, a popular television show that starred Telly Savalas.