American author, Don Pendleton (1927-1995) was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. At the age of fourteen, days before his fifteenth birthday, during World War II, he enlisted in the Navy, serving until 1947 as a Radioman. He returned to active Naval duty during the Korean Conflict. Following the war he worked as a railroad telegrapher, CAA/FAA air traffic control specialist, and aerospace engineer. In the latter career, he worked as a senior engineer for Martin-Marietta's Titan ICBM programs and as an engineering administrator in NASA's Apollo Moonshot program. He published his first short story in 1957 and his first novel in 1961. Leaving his aerospace career behind, Don turned to full time writing in 1967, produced a number of mystery, science fiction and futuristic novels, a screenplay, and numerous poems, short stories and essays.
In 1969, War Against the Mafia, featuring Mack Bolan, the Executioner, was published. The phenomenal success of the first novel led to thirty-seven sequels over the next twelve years. Dozens of imitators, inspired by Pendleton's success, arose during the 1970's to constitute a new particularly American literary genre, and the term "action/adventure" coined by Pendleton himself, has since spread to encompass television and motion picture formats as well. The original thirty-eight Executioner novels have been translated in more than twenty-five languages with in-print figures of more than 200 million copies worldwide. Pendleton franchised "Don Pendleton's Mack Bolan" to Harlequin's Gold Eagle Books in 1980, and nearly 900 books based on the Executioner and spin-offs—Phoenix Force, Able Team, Stony Man, Mack Bolan, Super Bolan, have been published. As of 2016, the spin-offs series have ended and only four Executioner novels are now published each year.
In December, 2014, Don Pendleton's original Executioner Series came out as ebooks, published by Open Road Media. Books 1-15 and 17-38 are available.
Don's more recent works include a series of six mystery novels based the exploits of Joe Copp, Private Eye, and another six mystery novels based on the character, Ashton Ford, Psychic Detective. All are in print, ebooks, and audiobooks.
Don turned to nonfiction in 1990 and, with his wife, Linda Pendleton, produced To Dance With Angels, a definitive study of life after death and spirit communication. Published in hardcover by Kensington, it had four editions, and Linda recently published a new edition after more than 20 years, and it is available as a Kindle ebook, print and audiobook. Don and Linda also co-wrote the nonfiction Whispers From the Soul. Don’s last novel was a crime novel, Roulette: The Search for the Sunrise Killer, written with Linda.
Together, Don and Linda, adapted and scripted The Executioner, War Against the Mafia, to Comic graphic novel format, which was published in 1993. Following Don's death, Linda adapted and scripted the second Executioner novel, Death Squad, published in 1996 by Vivid Comics.
His last nonfiction books are A Search for Meaning From the Surface of a Small Planet, and The Metaphysics of the Novel and a Novelist by Don Pendleton with Linda Pendleton, a book for aspiring writers. Linda recently published The Cosmic Breath: Metaphysical Essays of Don Pendleton, and Soul Expressions: A Poetry Collection of Linda and Don Pendleton.
Don was a long time member of the Authors Guild; Authors League of America; Writer's Guild of America, West; Past West Coast Director of Mystery Writers of America; International Platform Association; and a frequent speaker on campus and writers' symposiums.
Don Pendleton published more than 125 books in his career. For biographical reference and bibliography on Don Pendleton, see:
Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, (St. Martin Press); Contemporary Authors (Gale); Queen's Edition, Dictionary of International Biography (Melrose - London, England); Murder Ink (Workman); Who's Who in the Midwest.
Copyright 2012, 2016 by Linda Pendleton, All Rights Reserved.
Photos of Don Pendleton, Linda Pendleton, Copyright by Linda Pendleton.
Copyright 2016 by Linda Pendleton, All Rights Reserved
"I am simply a storyteller, an entertainer who hopes to enthrall with visions of the reader's own incipient greatness." ~Don Pendleton
Don and Linda Pendleton, Authors