Howard Fast

Howard Fast
Howard Fast.jpg
BornHoward Melvin Fast
November 11, 1914
New York City, New York, United States
DiedMarch 12, 2003(2003-03-12) (aged 88)
Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
Pen nameE. V. Cunningham
Walter Ericson
OccupationNovelist
NationalityAmerican
Period20th century
GenreHistorical fiction
Notable worksThe Last Frontier, Spartacus, April Morning
SpouseBette Cohen (1937–1994; her death; 2 children)
Mercedes O'Connor (1999–2003; his death)

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Howard Melvin Fast (November 11, 1914 – March 12, 2003) was an American novelist and television writer. Fast also wrote under the pen names E. V. Cunningham and Walter Ericson.

Early life

Fast was born in New York City. His mother, Ida (née Miller), was a British Jewish immigrant, and his father, Barney Fast, was a Ukrainian Jewish immigrant whose name was shortened from Fastovsky upon his arrival in America. When his mother died in 1923 and his father became unemployed, Howard's youngest brother, Julius, went to live with relatives, while he and his older brother Jerome worked by selling newspapers. He credited his early voracious reading to his part-time job in the New York Public Library.

Fast began writing at an early age. While hitchhiking and riding railroads around the country to find odd jobs, he wrote his first novel, Two Valleys, published in 1933 when he was 18. His first popular work was Citizen Tom Paine, a fictional account of the life of Thomas Paine. Always interested in American history, Fast also wrote The Last Frontier about the Cheyenne Indians' attempt to return to their native land, which inspired the 1964 movie Cheyenne Autumn[1] and Freedom Road, about the lives of former slaves during Reconstruction.

The novel Freedom Road is based on a true story and was made into a 1979 film starring Muhammad Ali, who, in a rare acting role, played Gideon Jackson, an ex-slave in 1870s Virginia who is elected to the U.S. Senate and battles other former slaves and white sharecroppers to keep the land that they tended all their lives.

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العربية: هوارد فاست
تۆرکجه: هاوارد فاست
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română: Howard Fast
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Howard Fast
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