Prolific suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark died January 31 at the age of 92 in Naples. Florida. Her publisher – Simon & Schuster – stated that the cause of death was natural causes.
During her career, she wrote over 50 books and amassed sales of over 100 million copies. Along with her numerous solo compositions, Mary also collaborated with her daughter and fellow mystery writer Carol Higgons Clark. Several of her books were turned into Hollywood films.
Her accomplishments include a Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America, the American-Irish Historical Society’s Gold Medal of Honor, a Spirit of Achievement Award from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, the Gold Medal in Education from the National Arts Club, the Horatio Alger Award, an Outstanding Mother of the Year Award, The Bronx Legend Award, an Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an Author of the Year Award from the Reader’s Digest, the Christopher Life Achievement Award, the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award, and a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from France; as well as, the Grand Prix de Literature Policière. A devout Catholic, Mary is a Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a Dame of Malta, a Lady of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, and received the Graymoor Awwrd from the Franciscan Friars.
She was born Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins on Christmas Eve 1927 the second of three children to a pub owner in The Bronx, New York. Her father died when she was just eleven years old with a brother dying a few years later as a result of meningitis. Mary began writing when she was just six years old and by the time she was in high school, she was already trying to sell her work. But it wasn’t until after the death of her husband that she began to see success; first as a script writer and later as a novelist. But it wasn’t until she began writing book that reflected those she liked to read that her success really began to take off.
Predeceased by her third husband John J. Conheene, Mary’s survivors include her children.
feature photo credit: By Alvintrusty – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20323046