Gerold Frank

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Gerold Frank (August 2, 1907 – September 17, 1998) was an American author and ghostwriter. He wrote several celebrity memoirs and was considered a pioneer of the "as told to" form of (auto)biography. His two best-known books,[citation needed] however, are The Boston Strangler (1966), which was adapted as the 1968 movie starring Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda, and An American Death (1972), about the assassination of Martin Luther King.


Frank was born in 1907 in Cleveland, Ohio, where his father was a tailor and owned a dress shop. He graduated from Ohio State University and moved to Greenwich Village as an aspiring poet. Later he worked for a newspaper in Cleveland. He wrote some articles published by The New Yorker and The Nation and eventually returned to New York City where he worked for Journal-American.[1]

Frank wrote about the lives of Eastern European Jews before the Holocaust. In 1934 he made a film about life in a Polish shtetl, featuring the lives of his parents and his wife Lilian. It included rare scenes of the Warsaw Ghetto, which Frank donated to the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.[1]

Frank was a war correspondent in the Middle East during World War II, and he collaborated with Bartley Crum on a book about the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine, Behind the Silken Curtain: a Personal Account of Anglo-American Diplomacy in Palestine and the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, 1947).[1]

He wrote a biography of Judy Garland entitled Judy (1975), considered by many to be the definitive book on Garland,[citation needed] and co-wrote Zsa Zsa Gabor's autobiography Zsa Zsa Gabor: My Story (1960). I'll Cry Tomorrow (1954), co-written with Lillian Roth and columnist Mike Connolly, was an international bestseller, more than seven million copies in more than twenty languages. It was adapted as a 1955 movie by Frank among others and Susan Hayward was nominated for the Oscar in the starring role as Lillian Roth.[2]

Frank won the annual "Best Fact Crime" Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America twice, for The Deed (1963), a book about the assassination of Lord Moyne, as well as for The Boston Strangler (1966).[3]

According to Mr. Frank's son John, he wrote at least 17 books including some as a ghostwriter without credit, or with an acknowledgment alone.[1]

Gerold and Lilian Frank had two children, a son and a daughter.

Selected works[edit]

Films adapted from his books[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Gerold Frank is dead at 91; Author of Celebrity Memoirs". Dinitia Smith. The New York Times. September 19, 1998. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  2. ^ "Lillian Roth Biography I'll Cry Tomorrow on TCM". Ranjan Bhaduri. Thaindian News. March 4, 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  3. ^ "Best Fact Crime Edgar Award: Winners and Nominees" [1948–1999]. The Edgar Awards ( Retrieved 2014-02-27.

External links[edit]