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Herman Wouk (1915–2019), “The Caine Mutiny” author

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Other novels include the World War II epic “The Winds of War”

Herman Wouk, who wrote the classic novel, “The Caine Mutiny,” died at the age of 103, only 10 days before his 104th birthday.  He also wrote the World War II epics, “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance,” both were turned into popular TV miniseries. He won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Caine Mutiny,” a novel about Navy Captain Queeg, an authority figure who goes mad with power, causing his crew to revolt. He was one of the first authors to write about Jewish life in America in his 1955 novel, “Marjorie Morningstar.” Wouk enlisted after Pearl Harbor and served on a Navy destroyer during World War II. His last published novel was “The Lawgiver” in 2012, when he was 97 and his biography was published in 2015 when he was 100. He was working on a novel at the time of his death.

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Died: May 17, 2019 (Who else died on May 17?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 103 in his sleep, according to his agent.


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What he said about serving in World War II: “I was commanding Americans from all over the country of a sort I had never met, living with them, fighting battles with them, betting my life on them and having them bet their lives on me.” —From an interview with the Washington Post in 2000 

Herman Wouk quote: “Heroes are not supermen; they are good men [and women] who embody — by the cast of destiny — the virtue of their whole people in a great hour.”

What they said about him: “I discovered his books as a young teen. Started with Marjorie Morningstar and then his epic WWII novels. I’m sad he is gone and I hope his important work is read forever.” —Marjie Cunningham on Twitter 

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times  

Related Lives: 

  • Tom Wolfe (1930–2018), author of “Bonfire of the Vanities”
  • Philip Roth (1933–2018), “Portnoy’s Complaint” author