David Morrell

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David Morrell
Born (1943-04-24) April 24, 1943 (age 70)
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Writer
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater St. Jerome's University, Pennsylvania State University
Notable work(s) First Blood


David Morrell (born April 24, 1943) is a Canadian-American novelist, best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become the successful Rambo film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. He has written 28 novels, and his work has been translated into 26 languages.[1] He also wrote the 2007-2008 Captain America comic book miniseries The Chosen.

Early life and career[edit]

Morrell decided to become a writer at the age of 17, after being inspired by the writing in the classic television series Route 66. In 1966, Morrell received his B.A. in English from St. Jerome's University and moved to the United States to study with Hemingway scholar Philip Young at Pennsylvania State University, where he would eventually receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in American literature. During his time at Penn State he also met science fiction writer Philip Klass, better known by the pseudonym William Tenn, who taught the basics of writing fiction.[1]

Morrell began work as an English professor at the University of Iowa in 1970. In 1972, his novel First Blood was published; it would eventually be made into the 1982 film of the same name starring Sylvester Stallone as Vietnam veteran John Rambo. Morrell continued to write many other novels, including The Brotherhood of the Rose, the first in a trilogy of novels, which was adapted into a 1989 NBC miniseries starring Robert Mitchum. Eventually tiring of the two professions, he gave up his tenure at the university in 1986 in order to write full time.[1]

Morrell's teenaged son Matthew died of Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer in 1987. The trauma of his loss influenced Morrell's work, in particular in his creative fiction memoir about Matthew, Fireflies. The protagonist of Morrell's novel Desperate Measures also experiences the loss of a son.[1]

Morrell is the co-president of the International Thriller Writers organization.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Morrell is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School for wilderness survival as well as the G. Gordon Liddy Academy of Corporate Security. He is also an honorary lifetime member of the Special Operations Association and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.[1]

According to his website, he has been trained in firearms, hostage negotiation, assuming identities, executive protection, and anti-terrorist driving, among numerous other action skills that he describes in his novels. He recently received his FAA licence to pilot his own small plane.[1]

Morrell lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[2]

Morrell was presented with the 2009 ThrillerMaster Award from the ITW.[3]



  • 1972 First Blood
  • 1975 Testament
  • 1977 Last Reveille
  • 1979 The Totem
  • 1982 Blood Oath
  • 1983 The Hundred-Year Christmas - illustrated by R. J. Krupowicz
  • 1984 Brotherhood of the Rose
  • 1985 Fraternity of the Stone
  • 1985 Rambo: First Blood Part II - novelisation of the film of the same name
  • 1987 The League of Night and Fog
  • 1988 Rambo III - novelisation of the film of the same name
  • 1990 Fifth Profession
  • 1991 The Covenant of the Flame
  • 1993 Assumed identity
  • 1994 Desperate Measures
  • 1994 The Totem - unabridged
  • 1996 Extreme Denial
  • 1998 Double Image
  • 1999 Black Evening (short stories)
  • 2000 Burnt Sienna
  • 2002 Long Lost
  • 2003 The Protector
  • 2004 Nightscape (short stories)
  • 2005 Creepers
  • 2007 Scavenger
  • 2008 The Spy Who Came for Christmas
  • 2009 The Shimmer
  • 2010 The Naked Edge (Kindle E-Book)
  • 2013 Murder as a Fine Art


  • 1976 John Barth: An Introduction
  • 1988 Fireflies
  • 2002 Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at His Craft

Comic books[edit]

  • 2007 - 2008 Captain America: The Chosen
  • 2013 - 2014 The Amazing Spider-Man: 700.1 & 700.2


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Biography". 
  2. ^ "David Morrell". Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "The 2011 Thriller Awards". ITW. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "Morrell, David" by Adam Meyer, in David Pringle (Editor), St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic writers. Detroit, MI : St. James Press, 1998, ISBN 1558622063.

External links[edit]