November 3, 1922|
Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
|Died||January 19, 1996
Saugerties, New York, United States
Anton Olmstead Myrer (November 3, 1922–January 19, 1996) was an American author, known best for writing the historical fiction military novel Once An Eagle (1968).
Early years and military service
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts,on November 3, 1922, to Raymond Lewis and Angele E. Myrer, he grew up in Boston, graduating from Boston Latin High School in 1940. He prepared at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire before entering Harvard College in September 1941 with the Class of 1945. His studies were interrupted, however, after the December 7, 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor. Soon after the attack, he, like many of his college peers, sought to enroll in the Army Reserve but was rejected. In 1942, he enlisted and was accepted by the United States Marine Corps. He participated in the Battle of Guam and the occupation of the remaining Mariana Islands afterwards. He was wounded in Guam and was promoted to the rank of corporal before being discharged in 1946.
Education, marriage, and writing
He returned to Harvard and graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. two years after his original classmates in May 1947.
In August 1947, he married artist Judith Rothschild and relocated to California. Random House published his first novel Evil Under the Sun in 1951. To support his family, he continued to work a number of low-paying, unskilled jobs. In 1957, his novel The Big War, published by Appleton-Century-Crofts, was financially and critically successful, resulting in the 1958 film screenplay he wrote with Edward Anhalt re-titled In Love and War, starring Robert Wagner and Bradford Dillman.
In 1960, the Myrers moved back to the Northeast to a country home in Saugerties, NY, and a summer home on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Little, Brown published The Violent Shore (1962) and The Intruder (1965).
Myrer’s most successful novel, Once An Eagle, was published in 1968 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, during the Vietnam War.
He separated from his wife and divorced her in 1970. Soon afterward he married Patricia Schartle (May 21, 1923-June 26, 2010).
- Evil Under the Sun - The story of a group of artists, literary figures and locals during a summer on post-war Cape Cod. Prejudices, lingering war trauma, and frustration about the state of post-war America lead to violence. Not to be confused with the Agatha Christie novel of the same name.
- The Big War
- The Violent Shore
- The Intruder: A Novel of Boston
- Once An Eagle - The story of two Army officers, one a ruthless, career-obsessed schemer, the other his opposite, and their often intermingled personal and professional lives from the end of World War I to the beginning of Vietnam. This novel is reportedly well known among American career military officers for its portrayal of leadership ideals and failures. The book is on the Marine Corps commandants' reading list and the U.S. Army War College uses it in leadership training. West Point cadets are assigned the book in classes and seminars. It was made into a television miniseries in 1976.
- The Tiger Waits-The story of one man's rise to academic and then political prominence in an administration, his love-hate relationship with Boston society, and how he discovers and handles a plot that threatens war.
- The Last Convertible - The story of five Harvard men and their coming-of-age during World War II through the early 1960s New Frontier/Camelot/John F. Kennedy era. The elegant "last convertible" of the title is seen by them as the symbol of their romantic youth.
- A Green Desire
- Myrer, Anton. Once an Eagle. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-008435-9.
- "Anton Myrer from HarperCollins". Harper Collins.
- "Becker, Elizabeth, "Military Goes by the Book, but It's a Novel", New York Times, August 16, 1999.". The New York Times. August 16, 1999.
- Thomas, Evan, "McChrystal’s War", Newsweek, October 5, 2009.