Fredric Brown was an American science fiction and mystery writer. He was one of the boldest early writers in genre fiction in his use of narrative experimentation. While never in the front rank of popularity in his lifetime, Brown has developed a considerable cult following in the almost half century since he last wrote. His works have been periodically reprinted and he has a worldwide fan base, most notably in the U.S. and Europe, and especially in France, where there have been several recent movie adaptations of his work. He also remains popular in Japan.
Never financially secure, Brown - like many other pulp writers - often wrote at a furious pace in order to pay bills. This accounts, at least in part, for the uneven quality of his work. A newspaperman by profession, Brown was only able to devote 14 years of his life as a full-time fiction writer. Brown was also a heavy drinker, and this at times doubtless affected his productivity. A cultured man and omnivorous reader whose interests ranged far beyond those of most pulp writers, Brown had a lifelong interest in the flute, chess, poker, and the works of Lewis Carroll. Brown married twice and was the father of two sons.
Bibliography from Wikipedia
- The Cheese on Stilts.
- Blood of the Dragon.
- There Are Bloodstains in the Alley.
- Murder at 10:15.
- Bloody Murder.
- The Prehistoric Clue.
- A Matter of Taste.
- Trouble in a Teacup (alias "Teacup Trouble").
- Murder Draws a Crowd.
- Footprints on the Ceiling.
- Town Wanted.
- The Little Green Men.
- Herbie Rides His Hunch.
- The Stranger from Trouble Valley.
- The Strange Sisters Strange.
- Fugitive Impostor.
- The King Comes Home.
- Big-Top Doom.
- The Discontented Cows.
- Life and Fire.
- Big-League Larceny.
- Client Unknown.
- Homicide Sanitarium.
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- Your Name in Gold.
- Here Comes the Hearse.
- Six-Gun Song.
- Star-Spangled Night.
- Wheels Across the Night.
- Little Boy Lost.
- Bullet for Bullet.
- Listen to the Mocking Bird.
- You'll End Up Buming.
- Selling Death Short.
- Thirty Corpses Every Thursday.
- Trouble Comes Double.
- Not Yet the End.
- Number Bug.
- Clue in Blue.
- Death is a White Rabbit.
- Twenty Gets You Plenty.
- Etaoin Shrdlu.
- Little Apple Hard to Peel.
- Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter.
- Death in the Dark (alias "The Black Dark").
- Handbook for Homicide.
- The Incredible Bomber.
- Twice-Killed Corpse.
- Mad Dog!.
- Moon Over Murder.
- The Star Mouse.
- A Cat Walks.
- Who Did I Murder .
- Murder in Furs.
- Suite for Flute and Tommy Gun.
- Three Corpse Parlay.
- A Date to Die.
- Red is the Hue of Hell.
- Two Biers for Two.
- You'll Die Before Dawn.
- Get Out of Town.
- A Little White Lye.
- Nothing Sinister.
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- The Numberless Shadows.
- Satan's Search Warrant.
- Starvation (alias "Runaround").
- Where There's Smoke.
- Legacy of Murder.
- The New One.
- The Santa Claus Murders (expanded into novel Murder Can be Fun alias A Plot for Murder).
- Double Murder.
- A Fine Night for Murder.
- Heil, Werewolf.
- I'll See You At Midnight.
- The Monkey Angle.
- Satan One-and-a-Half.
- The Men Who Went Nowhere.
- A Lock of Satan's Hair.
- The Spherical Ghoul.
- The Wicked Flea.
- The Angelic Angleworm.
- Death is a Noise.
- The Hat Trick.
- Hound of Hell (alias "Beware of the Dog").
- The Sleuth from Mars.
- A Change for the Hearse.
- Encore for a Killer.
- Trial By Darkness.
- Cadavers Don't Make a Fifth Column.
- Death of a Vampire.
- Death's Dark Angel.
- The Freak Show Murders.
- Market for Murder.
- The Corpse and the Candle.
- Madman's Holiday.
- Blue Murder.
- The Geezenstacks. .
- Tell 'em, Pagliaccio.
- Whispering Death.
- Death Insurance Payment.
- The Motive Goes Round and Round.
- Paradox Lost.
- The Djinn Murder.
- Murder in Miniature.
- The Ghost of Riley.
- The Devil's Woodwinds.
- And the Gods Laughed.
- Nothing Sirius.
- The Yehudi Principle.
- The Jabberwocky Murders (incorporated into novel Night of the Jabberwock).
- The Ghost Breakers.
- The Gibbering Night (incorporated into novel Night of the Jabberwock).
- Murder While You Wait.
- The Bucket of Gems Case (alias "Mr Smith Kicks the Bucket").
- To Slay a Man About a Dog (alias "Shaggy Dog Murders").
- A Matter of Death.
- Pi in the Sky.
- The Night the World Ended.
- The Waveries.
- No Sanctuary.
- Compliments of a Fiend (expanded into novel The Bloody Moonlight).
- Ten Tickets to Hades (alias "Murder in Ten Easy Lessons").
- Dead Man's Indemnity (expanded into novel The Fabulous Clipjoint).
- Placet is a Crazy Place.
- Song of the Dead.
- Obit for Obie (expanded into novel The Deep End).
- Whistler's Murder.
- A Voice Behind Him.
- Don't Look Behind You.
- Miss Darkness.
- I'll Cut Your Throat Again, Kathleen.
- The Dead Ringer (expanded into novel The Dead Ringer).
- Four Letter Word (alias "The Greatest Poem Ever Written").
- The Four Blind Men.
- What Mad Universe (expanded into novel What Mad Universe).
- The Laughing Butcher.
- If Looks Could Kill (alias "The Joke").
- Cry Silence.
- Red-Hot and Hunted.
- This Way Out.
- All Good Bems.
- Murder and Matilda.
- Come and Go Mad. .
- Last Curtain (alias "Cream of the Jest").
- Crisis, 1999.
- Each Night He Died (alias "Cain").
- Letter to a Phoenix.
- The Cat from Siam.
- The Sinister Mr. Dexter (alias "House of Fear").
- Deadly Weekend (expanded into novel The Screaming Mimi).
- The Bloody Moonlight (condensed from novel The Bloody Moonlight).
- Gateway to Darkness (alias "Small World," incorporated into novel Rogue in Space).
- The Last Train.
- Death and Nine Lives.
- The Blind Lead.
- The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches.
- The Nose of Don Aristide.
- Vengeance Unlimited (alias "Vengeance Fleet").
- From These Ashes (alias "Entity Trap").
- The Undying Ones (alias "Obedience").
- Walk in the Shadows.
- The Frownzly Florgels.
- Gateway to Glory (incorporated into novel Rogue in Space).
- The Last Martian.
- Honeymoon in Hell.
- Mitkey Rides Again.
- Night of the Jabberwock
- Device of the Turtle (alias "Six-Legged Swengali"; with Mack Reynolds).
- Dark Interlude (with Mack Reynolds).
- Man of Distinction.
- The Switcheroo.
- The Weapon - published in the anthology The War Book (edited by James Sallis, 1969).
- Cartoonist (alias "Garrigan's Bems"; with Mack Reynolds).
- Something Green.
- The Dome.
- A Word from Our Sponsor.
- The Gamblers (with Mack Reynolds).
- The Hatchetman (with Mack Reynolds).
- Me and Flapjack and the Martians (with Mack Reynolds).
- Witness in the Dark.
- The Pickled Punks (expanded into novel Madball).
- The Wench is Dead (expanded into novel The Wench is Dead).
- The Little Lamb.
- Rustle of Wings.
- Hall of Mirrors.
- Keep Out.
- Martians, Go Home (expanded into novel Martians, Go Home).
- Premiere of Murder.
- The Perfect Crime (alias "Fatal Error").
- The Letter (alias "Dead Letter").
- The First Time Machine.
- Too Far.
- Line of Duty (expanded into novel The Lenient Beast).
- Murder Set to Music.
- Happy Ending (with Mack Reynolds).
- The Amy Waggoner Murder Case (expanded into novel One for the Road).
- Who Was That Blonde I Saw You Kill Last Night? (expanded into novel His Name was Death) .
- The Late Lamented (expanded into novel The Late Lamented).
- Rope Trick.
- Night of the Psycho (expanded into novel Knock Three-One-Two).
- Bear Possibility.
- The Mind Thing (never completed serialization later published as novel The Mind Thing).
- The Power (alias "Rebound").
- Earthmen Bearing Gifts.
- Granny's Birthday.
- The House.
- Great Lost Discoveries I - Invisibility.
- Great Lost Discoveries II - Invulnerability.
- Great Lost Discoveries III - Immortality.
- The Hobbyist.
- Nightmare in Blue.
- Nightmare in Gray.
- Nightmare in Red.
- Nightmare in Time (alias "The End").
- Nightmare in Yellow.
- Of Time and Eustace Weaver ("The Short Happy Lives of E. Weaver I-II-III")
- Bright Beard.
- Cat Burglar.
- Death on the Mountain.
- Fish Story.
- Horse Race.
- Nightmare in Green.
- Nightmare in White.
- The Ring of Hans Carvel.
- Second Chance.
- Three Little Owls.
- Before She Kills.
- Puppet Show.
- Fatal Facsimile .
- Double Standard.
- Instant Novellas (alias "20 Stories in 60 Lines").
- It Didn't Happen.
- Tale of the Flesh Monger (alias "Ten Percenter").
- The Missing Actor.
- Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (with Carl Onspaugh).
- The Fabulous Clipjoint (1947), Edgar Award winner for best first novel. "Eighteen-year-old Ed Hunter joins forces with his uncle, carnival-pitchman Ambrose Hunter, to track the person who bludgeoned Ed's father (Am's brother) to death in a dark Chicago alley. Later Ed and Am open their own detective agency and are involved regularly in murder."
- The Dead Ringer (1948)
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In 1984, Dennis McMillan Publications began a series of nineteen limited edition books under the title Fredric Brown in the Detective Pulps, collecting virtually all of Brown's mystery short stories, plus some uncollected science fiction, poetry, unfinished novels, and miscellaneous fiction:
His first science fiction story, "Not Yet the End", was published in Captain Future in 1941.
A more recent collection of his short science fiction and fantasy is:
His science fiction novels are collected in:
- Martians and Madness (2002), ISBN 1-886778-17-5
A more recent collection of his mystery fiction is Hunter and Hunted: The Ed and Am Hunter Novels, Part One (2002), ISBN 0-9718185-1-7, published by Stewart Masters Publishing. It includes his Edgar Award-winning novel The Fabulous Clipjoint.
A more obscure and diverse collection of Brown's science fiction, mystery, and general fiction stories is titled Nightmares and Geezenstacks (1961).
Bibliography from ISFDB
Fiction Series* Detective Pulps (non-genre) o The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches (1951) [CHAPTERBOOK] o Homicide Sanitarium (1984) [C] o Before She Kills (1984) [C] o Madman's Holiday (1984) [C] o The Freak Show Murders (1985) [C] o Thirty Corpses Every Thursday (1986) [C] o Pardon my Goulish Laughter (1986) [C] o Red is the Hue of Hell (1986) [C] o Sex Life on the Planet Mars (1986) [C] o Brother Monster (1987) [C] o Nightmare in Darkness (1987) [C] o Who Was that Blonde I Saw You Kill Last Night? (1988) [C] o Three-Corpse Parlay (1988) [C] o Selling Death Short (1988) [C] o Whispering Death (1989) [C] o Happy Ending (1990) [C] o The Water-Walker (1990) [C] o The Gibbering Night (1991) [C] o The Pickled Punks (1991) [C]
Novels* What Mad Universe (1949) [also as by Fredrick Brown ] o Magazine Appearances: o What Mad Universe (Complete Novel) (1953) * The Lights in the Sky Are Stars (1953) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Project Jupiter (1953) * Martians, Go Home (1955) also appeared as: o Magazine Appearances: o Martians, Go Home (Complete Novel) (1961) * Rogue in Space (1957) also appeared as: o Magazine Appearances: o Rogue in Space (Complete Novel) (1958) o Rogue in Space (Complete Novel) (1966) * The Mind Thing (1961) also appeared as: o Magazine Appearances: o The Mind Thing (Part 1 of ?) (1960) o The Mind Thing (Complete Novel) (1962)
Collections* Space on My Hands (1951) * Angels and Spaceships (1954) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Star Shine (1956) * Honeymoon in Hell (1958) * Nightmares and Geezenstacks (1961) * Daymares (1968) * Paradox Lost, and 12 Other Great S.F. Stories (1973) * The Best of Fredric Brown (1977) * The Best Short Stories of Fredric Brown (1982) * And the Gods Laughed (1987) * From These Ashes: The Complete Short SF of Fredric Brown (2001)
Omnibus* Martians and Madness (2002) [O]
Anthologies* Science-Fiction Carnival (1953) with Mack Reynolds
Nongenre* The Fabulous Clipjoint (1947) * The Dead Ringer (1948) * Murder Can Be Fun (1948) also appeared as: o Variant Title: A Plot for Murder (1948) * The Bloody Moonlight (1949) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Murder In Moonlight (1950) * The Screaming Mimi (1949) * Compliments of a Fiend (1950) * Here Comes a Candle (1950) * Night of the Jabberwock (1950) * Death Has Many Doors (1951) * The Far Cry (1951) * The Deep End (1952) * We All Killed Grandma (1952) * Mostly Murder (1953) * Madball (1953) * His Name Was Death (1954) * The Wench Is Dead (1955) * The Lenient Beast (1956) * One for the Road (1958) * The Office (1958) * Knock Three-One-Two (1959) * The Late Lamented (1959) * The Murderers (1961) * The Five Day Nightmare (1962) * The Shaggy Dog and Other Murders (1963) * Mrs. Murphy's Underpants (1963)
Short Fiction Series* Two Timer o Experiment (1954) o Sentry (1954)
Shortfiction* Teacup Trouble (1940) * Little Boy Lost (1941) * Life and Fire (1941) * Not Yet the End (1941) * Armageddon (1941) * Mr. Jinx (1941) with Robert Arthur [also as by Robert Arthur ] * Runaround (1942) * Nothing Sinister (1942) * Satan One-and-a-Half (1942) * A Little White Lye (1942) * Little Apple Hard to Peel (1942) * Death is a White Rabbit (1942) * The Star Mouse (1942) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Star Mouse (1942) o Variant Title: The Star-Mouse (1942) * Etaoin Shrdlu (1942) * Starvation (1942) * The New One (1942) * Tell 'em, Pagliaccio! (1943) * Beware of the Dog (1943) * The Motive Goes Round and Round (1943) * The Spherical Ghoul (1943) * The Hat Trick (1943) [also as by Felix Graham ] * The Angelic Angleworm (1943) * The Geezenstacks (1943) * Paradox Lost (1943) * Daymare (1943) * The Shaggy Dog Murders (1944) * The Death of Riley (1944) * And the Gods Laughed (1944) * Nothing Sirius (1944) * The Yehudi Principle (1944) * Arena (1944) also appeared as: o Variant Title: "Arena" (1944) * Murder in Ten Easy Lessons (1945) * The Dangerous People (1945) * The Night the World Ended (1945) * The Waveries (1945) * Pi in the Sky (1945) * Whistler's Murder (1946) * Placet Is a Crazy Place (1946) * Don't Look Behind You (1947) * Miss Darkness (1947) * A Voice Behind Him (1947) * The Joke (1948) * The Greatest Poem Ever Written (1948) * I'll Cut Your Throat Again, Kathleen (1948) * Cry Silence (1948) * The Four Blind Men (1948) * The Laughing Butcher (1948) * What Mad Universe (1948) * Knock (1948) * Come and Go Mad (1949) * Crisis, 1999 (1949) * Good Night, Good Knight (1949) * Cain (1949) * This Way Out (1949) * All Good BEMs (1949) * Mouse (1949) * Letter to a Phoenix (1949) * Gateway to Darkness (1949) * Obedience (1950) also appeared as: o Variant Title: The Undying Ones (1950) * Entity Trap (1950) * The Nose of Don Aristide (1950) * The Last Train (1950) * Vengeance Fleet (1950) * Vengeance, Unlimited (1950) * From These Ashes . . . (1950) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Entity Trap (1950) * The Undying Ones (1950) * The Last Martian (1950) * Gateway to Glory (1950) * The Frownzly Florgels (1950) * Honeymoon in Hell (1950) * Mitkey Rides Again (1950) * Six-Legged Svengali (1950) with Mack Reynolds * Something Green (1951) [also as by A. McFail ] * The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches (1951) * Dark Interlude (1951) with Mack Reynolds * Man of Distinction (1951) * The Switcheroo (1951) with Mack Reynolds * The Weapon (1951) * Cartoonist (1951) with Mack Reynolds also appeared as: o Variant Title: Garrigan's Bems (1951) [as by Mack Reynolds and Fredric Brown ] * The Dome (1951) * A Word from Our Sponsor (1951) * The Gamblers (1951) with Mack Reynolds * The Hatchetman (1951) with Mack Reynolds * Me and Flapjack and the Martians (1952) with Mack Reynolds * The Little Lamb (1953) * Rustle of Wings (1953) * Hall of Mirrors (1953) Hall of Mirrors at Project Gutenberg (free fiction) * Answer (1954) * Pattern (1954) * Preposterous (1954) * Politeness (1954) * Reconciliation (1954) * Search (1954) * Daisies (1954) * Sentence (1954) * Solipsist (1954) * Two Timer (1954) * Keep Out (1954) * Martians, Go Home! (1954) * Double Whammy (1954) * Naturally (1954) * Voodoo (1954) * Jaycee (1955) * First Time Machine (1955) * Blood (1955) * Millennium (1955) * Too Far (1955) [also as by Frederic Brown ] * Expedition (1956) * Town Wanted (1956) * Happy Ending (1957) with Mack Reynolds * Unfortunately (1958) * Rope Trick (1959) * Nasty (1959) * The Devil Times Three (1959) * Abominable (1960) * Rebound (1960) also appeared as: o Variant Title: The Power (1960) * Granny's Birthday (1960) * Contact (1960) * Earthmen Bearing Gifts (1960) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Contact (1960) * The House (1960) [also as by Frederic Brown ] * Nightmare in Gray (1961) * Nightmare in Green (1961) * Nightmare in White (1961) * Nightmare in Blue (1961) * Nightmare in Yellow (1961) * Nightmare in Red (1961) * Cat Burglar (1961) * Second Chance (1961) * Dead Letter (1961) * Recessional (1961) * Hobbyist (1961) * The Ring of Hans Carvel (1961) * Fatal Error (1961) * The Short Happy Lives of Eustace Weaver I (1961) * The Short Happy Lives of Eustace Weaver II (1961) * The Short Happy Lives of Eustace Weaver III (1961) * Bright Beard (1961) * Horse Race (1961) * Death on the Mountain (1961) * Bear Possibility (1961) * Fish Story (1961) * Three Little Owls (A Fable) (1961) * Great Lost Discoveries I - Invisibility (1961) * Great Lost Discoveries II - Invulnerability (1961) * Great Lost Discoveries III - Immortality (1961) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Immortality (1961) * The End (1961) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Nightmare in Time (1961) * Aelurophobe (1962) * Nightmare in Time (1962) * Puppet Show (1962) * Ten Percenter (1963) * Double Standard (1963) * It Didn't Happen (1963) * Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1965) with Carl Onspaugh * Mitkey Astromouse (1971)
Poems* Imagine (1955) also appeared as: o Variant Title: Imagine: A Proem (1955)
Essays* P.S.'s Feature Flash (1942) * Why I Selected Nothing Sirius (1949) * Why I Selected- Nothing Sirius (1949) * Contributors... (1950) * Introduction (Space on My Hands) (1951) * Introduction (The Best Short Stories of Fredric Brown) (1951) * Introduction (Science-Fiction Carnival) (1953) * Introduction (Angels and Spaceships) (1954) * Introduction (Human?) (1954) * Author's Postscript (Martians. Go Home) (1955) [also as by Frederic Brown ] * Guest Editorial: Toward a Definition of Science Fiction (1963) * It's Only Everything (1981) * Martians, Go Home (1981)
From Fredric Brown at Wikipedia
This article is about the science fiction and mystery writer. For others named Fred Brown, see Fred Brown (disambiguation).
Fredric Brown (October 29, 1906 – March 11, 1972) was an Americanscience fiction and mystery writer. He was born in Cincinnati.
He had two sons: James Ross Brown and Linn Lewis Brown (October 7, 1932 – June 15, 2008).
He is perhaps best known for his use of humor and for his mastery of the "short short" form—stories of 1 to 3 pages, often with ingenious plotting devices and surprise endings. Humor and a somewhat postmodern outlook carried over into his novels as well.
His classic science fiction novel What Mad Universe (1949) is a parody of pulp SF story conventions. The novel functions both as a critique of its genre and a superior example of it. It may have provided a model for Philip K. Dick when he later created his own stories set in alternate personal realities. Martians, Go Home (1955) is both a broad farce and a satire on human frailties as seen through the eyes of a billion jeering, invulnerable Martians who arrive not to conquer the world but to drive it crazy.
The Lights in the Sky Are Stars (1952) tells the story of an aging astronaut who is trying to get his beloved space program back on track after Congress has cut off the funds for it.
One of his most famous short stories, "Arena", was used as the basis for the episode of the same name in the original series of Star Trek. It was also the basis of a 1964 episode entitled "Fun and Games" of The Outer Limits, probably the Space: 1999episode "The Rules of Luton", and possibly the Blake's 7episode "Duel".
The "Deep Thought" episode in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams appears to be a parody of his short story "Answer".
Brown's first mystery novel, The Fabulous Clipjoint, won the Edgar Award for outstanding first mystery novel. It began a series starring Ed and Ambrose Hunter, and is a depiction of how a young man gradually ripens into a detective under the tutelage of his uncle, an ex–private eye now working as a carnival barker.
The books make use of the threat of the supernatural or occult before the "straight" explanation at the end. Night of the Jabberwock is a bizarre and humorous narrative of an extraordinary day in the life of a small-town newspaper editor.
Also highly regarded are The Screaming Mimi (which became a 1958 movie starring Anita Ekberg and Gypsy Rose Lee, and directed by Gerd Oswald, who also directed the "Fun and Games" episode of The Outer Limits) and The Far Cry, powerful noir suspense novels reminiscent of the work of Cornell Woolrich, and The Lenient Beast, with its experiments in multiple first-person viewpoints, among them a gentle, deeply religious serial killer, and its unusual (for a book written in the 1950s) examination of racial tensions between whites and Latinos in Arizona.
Even more experimental was Here Comes a Candle, which is told in straight narrative sections alternating with a radio script, a screenplay, a sportscast, a teleplay, a stage play, and a newspaper article.
He wrote several short stories about Satan and his activities in Hell.
Many of his science fiction stories were shorter than 1,000 words, or even 500 words.
His shortest story is entitled The Shortest Horror Story. The story goes as follows: "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door..."
Popularity and influence
The depiction of aliens who are completely alien mentally as well as physically and are completely bent on humanity's destruction is similar to that of the Arcturians in Brown's earlier What Mad Universe.
His short story "Arena" was voted by Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the top 20 SF stories ever written before 1965. His short story "The Waveries" was described by Philip K. Dick as "what may be the most significant—startlingly so—story SF has yet produced." "Knock" is well known for its opening, which is a complete two-sentence short-short story in itself.
Ayn Rand singled out Brown for high praise in her book The Romantic Manifesto. The famous pulp writer Mickey Spillane called Brown "my favorite writer of all time". Science fiction and fantasy writer Neil Gaiman has also expressed fondness for Brown's work, having his novel Here Comes A Candle narrated by the character Rose Walker in the collection The Kindly Ones of The Sandman.
Brown also had the honor of being one of three dedicatees of Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.
Main article: Bibliography of Fredric Brown
- Martians and Misplaced Clues: The Life and Work of Fredric Brown, by Jack Seabrook, Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0-87972-591-4.
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||American novelist, short story author|
|DATE OF BIRTH||October 29, 1906|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|DATE OF DEATH||March 11, 1972|
|PLACE OF DEATH|
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