January 18, 1925
Manhattan, New York, US
|Died||January 5, 2013
Brooklyn, New York, USA
|Alma mater||New York University|
Yurick was born in 1925 into a working class family of politically active Jewish immigrants. At the age of 14, he became disillusioned with politics after the Hitler–Stalin pact. He enlisted during World War II, where he trained as an Army surgical technician. After the war, he earned a bachelor's degree at New York University, majoring in literature. After graduation, he took a job with New York City's welfare department as a social investigator, a job he held until the early 1960s. It was here that he became familiar with children of welfare families, many of whom were "then called juvenile delinquents," he later said. "Many of them belonged to fighting gangs...numbered in the hundreds; they were veritable armies." Soon after, he earned his master's in English from Brooklyn College, then took up writing full-time.
Yurick was involved in Students for a Democratic Society and the anti-war movement at this time. In 1968, he signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.
Yurick's first novel, The Warriors, appeared in 1965. It combined a classical Greek story, Anabasis, with a fictional account of gang wars in New York City. It inspired the 1979 film of the same name.
His other works include: Fertig (1966), The Bag (1968), Someone Just Like You (1972), An Island Death (1976), Richard A (1981), Behold Metatron, the Recording Angel (1985), Confession (1999).
In 1984, Yurick published a quite prescient and imaginative short story that considered how the use of a virtual, entirely imaginary island nation combined with advanced computer networking might be used to suck tremendous wealth from, and wreak havoc on, the global banking system. Appearing in Datamation, a then-leading trade magazine focused on enterprise computing, "The King of Malaputa" (translation: bad whore) predates by at least 15 years Neal Stephenson's better-known novel, Cryptonomicon (1999) and its imaginary island nation, Kinakuta, which has been set up for use in anonymous, computer-based banking activities. Yurick's island "exists" only as bogus entries in various banking and geographic databases; when searched for in these databases, the island appears to exist in many dimensions, including map coordinates and convincing satellite photos, but it is entirely virtual – a figment of digital imagination. Elsewhere, criminals use satellite dishes to hack into the global banking system and divert money to the imaginary island and then, into their own pockets. The story reflects Yurick's longstanding focus on banks and bankers as the source and agents of much power and trouble in the highly capitalized modern world.
Yurick died of complications from lung cancer at the age of 87 on January 5, 2013.
- The Warriors (1965)
- Fertig (1966)
- The Bag (1968)
- Someone Just Like You (1972)
- An Island Death (1976)
- Richard A (1981)
- Behold Metatron, the Recording Angel (1985)
- Confession (1999)
- "Sol Yurick". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- Sol Yurick, 1925–2013
- Yardley, William (January 9, 2013). "Sol Yurick, novelist, Dies at 87". The New York Times.
- Homberger, Eric (January 7, 2013). "Sol Yurick obituary". The Guardian (London).
- Sheridan, Richard (2013). "In Memoriam". Brooklyn College Magazine 2 (Spring 2013): 39.
- "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" January 30, 1968 New York Post
- "All Fellows". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Maslin, Janet (February 10, 1979). "'Warriors' Creates Visual Style That Is Stark". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Sol Yurick, author of novel that became cult classic flick 'The Warriors,' dies at 87". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 2013-01-09.