(1916– ) writer; born in New York City. Abandoned as an infant, he was adopted in 1927 and took the name of Harold Rubin. (When he began his writing career, he legally changed his name to Harold Robbins.) He studied at a high school in New York City, then held a variety of jobs, such as clerk, cashier, and bookies' runner (1927–31). He made a fortune in the food distribution business (1930s) and lost it speculating. He worked as a warehouse clerk for Universal Pictures in New York (1940–41) but soon became a director of budget and planning there (1942–57). He then took up writing and produced a series of best-sellers, mostly violent and sexually charged adventure novels such as The Carpetbaggers (1961). In later years he lived in Cannes, France.