Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk died on just 10 days before his 104th birthday.
His literary agent, Amy Rennert, said he died in his sleep at his home in Palm Springs, Calif., where he settled after living for many years in Washington, D.C.
“He really was the Jackie Robinson of Jewish-American fiction,” Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster, and editor of Wouk’s final book, Sailor and Fiddler, published in 2015, told National Public Radio. “He was on the cover of Time magazine for Marjorie Morningstar, and he popularized a lot of themes that other writers, like [Saul] Bellow and [Philip] Roth and [Bernard] Malamud, would deal with in their novels.”
In War and Remembrance, Wouk wrote about the Holocaust, “The accounts I have heard of what the Germans are doing in camps like [Auschwitz] exceed all human experience. Words break down as a means of describing them. … The Thucydides who will tell this story so that the world can picture, believe and remember may not be born for centuries. Or if he lives now, I am not he.”
His 1993 novel The Hope is about crucial moments in the State of Israel’s history between 1948 and 1967.
In 1945, Wouk married Betty Sarah Brown, who died in 2011. They had three sons, Joseph, Nathaniel and Abraham, their oldest, who drowned in 1951.