Lucian K. Truscott IV

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Lucian K. Truscott IV
Born (1947-04-11) April 11, 1947 (age 73)
OccupationNovelist, journalist
Spouse(s)Carolyn (1987–present)
Carol Troy (1979–1981)
ChildrenLilly, Lucian V, Violet

Lucian King Truscott IV (born April 11, 1947) is an American writer and journalist. A former staff writer for The Village Voice, he is the author of several military-themed novels including Dress Gray, which was adapted into a 1986 television film of the same name.


Truscott was born in Japan to US Army Colonel Lucian K. Truscott III and Anne (née Harloe).[1] His grandfather Lucian Jr. was a US Army general during World War II where he commanded the 3rd Infantry Division and later the Fifth Army in Italy. His father Lucian III served in the US Army in Korea and Vietnam, retiring as a colonel.[2]

Truscott attended the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1969. In 1968, Truscott and other cadets challenged the required attendance at chapel services. Later a court case filed by another cadet along with midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy resulted in a 1972 US Court of Appeals decision (and upheld by the Supreme Court) that ended mandatory chapel attendance at all of the service academies.[3] He was then assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado.[4] There, he wrote an article about heroin addiction among enlisted soldiers and another about what he felt was an illegal court martial. He was threatened with being sent to Vietnam, so he resigned his commission about thirteen months after graduating, receiving a "general discharge under other than honorable conditions."[1][5]

He is a member of the Monticello Association, the members of which descend from Thomas Jefferson, who was Truscott's great-great-great-great-grandfather.[6][7] The association owns the graveyard at Monticello. During a November 1998 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show he invited descendants of Sally Hemings to the family reunion in 2000. The Hemings descendants had not been allowed to join the association, or to be buried in its graveyard.[6][7][8]

He lives at the eastern end of Long Island with his girlfriend, the artist Tracy Harris.[9][10]


Starting in 1970, he joined The Village Voice as a freelancer and later staff writer. He had previously written for the Voice as a cadet, submitting "conservative, right-wing letters" that the newspaper eventually started to publish.[5] One such letter, describing Christmas 1968 among the hippies at the Electric Circus nightclub, was published as a front-page story.[5][11] Another piece, written a few weeks after he graduated from West Point, described the riot at the Stonewall Inn on June 27, 1969.[12][13]


Truscott's first novel, Dress Gray, was about a West Point cadet who was found dead. It was a bestseller, appearing thirteen weeks on The New York Times hardcover bestseller list and seven weeks on the paperback list.[14] In The New York Times, Gene Lyons wrote the book was "as compelling and important a popular novel has emerged or is likely to emerge from the Vietnam era."[15] It was made into a two-part television movie in 1986, starring Hal Holbrook, Eddie Albert and Alec Baldwin; Gore Vidal wrote the screenplay.[16]

The movie rights for his fourth novel, Heart of War, were sold for $1 million.[17]

His fifth novel, Full Dress Gray, was a sequel to his first. The earlier book received a cool reception from West Point, while for the sequel, the campus bookstore scheduled Truscott for two book signings.[18] Library Journal's review of the book described it as "a thoroughly satisfying mystery story with an uncommon setting."[19] Booklist said that it was "a basic police procedural" but predicted the book would be "popular for its realistic dialogue couched in military protocol, which reflects the author's own past as a cadet."[20]

Books published[edit]

  • The Complete Van Book (1977) — ISBN 978-0517527900
  • Dress Gray (1979) — ISBN 978-0451190475
  • Army Blue (1989) — ISBN 978-0517573846
  • Rules of the Road (1990) — ISBN 978-1937957919
  • Heart of War (1997) — ISBN 978-0451187703
  • Full Dress Gray (1998) — ISBN 978-1937957650


  1. ^ a b "Lucian K. Truscott, IV." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Biography In Context. Web. 5 June 2013.
  2. ^ Jergenson, Beth (3 April 2000). "Lucian King Truscott III, 78, commanded Army troops, marshaled spirit for joy of life". The Albuquerque Tribune. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  3. ^ Gelfand, H Michael (2006). Sea Change at Annapolis: The United States Naval Academy, 1949–2000. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 85–103. ISBN 9780807877470.
  4. ^ McCall, Cheryl (4 June 1979). "Lucian 'dress Gray' Truscott and Carol 'cheap Chic' Troy Are a Scott and Zelda for the '70s". People Magazine. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Klemesrud, Judy (19 January 1979). "Successful Writing Couple Become a Hot Property". The New York Times. p. A14. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b Truscott, Lucian (10 July 2003). "The Reunion Upon a Hill". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b Truscott, Lucian (February 2001). "Children of Monticello". American Heritage magazine. p. 50.
  8. ^ Janofsky, Michael (16 May 1999). "Jefferson's Kin Not Ready To Accept Tie to Slave". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  9. ^ Truscott, Lucian. "Dying of a Broken Heart". Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  10. ^ "It’s not just David Duke and the KKK anymore: It’s Tucker Carlson and Fox News Network who sell hate," Lucian K. Truscott IV, Salon, 10 Aug 2019
  11. ^ Truscott, Lucian (2 January 1969). "A Stockingful of Love, But No Re-admission". The Village Voice. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  12. ^ Truscott, Lucian (2 July 1969). "Gay Power Comes to Sheridan Square". The Village Voice. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  13. ^ Truscott, Lucian (25 June 2009). "The Real Mob at Stonewall". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Best Sellers". The New York Times. 20 May 1979.
  15. ^ Lyons, Gene (7 January 1979). "Worst Point". The New York Times. p. BR3. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  16. ^ O'Connor, John J (7 March 1986). "TV Weekend; 'Dress Gray,' A Military Mystery Tale". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  17. ^ Nathan, Paul (18 December 1995). "Assuaging the pain. (Renaissances, a literary agency has negotiated a $1 million contract for Jaffe Entertainment to buy the movie rights to 'Heart of War' a half finished book by Lucian K. Truscott)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  18. ^ Bruni, Frank (14 August 1998). "West Point Greets the Enemy; Author Once Shunned Returns to His Alma Mater". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  19. ^ Keymer, David (1 June 1998). "Full Dress Gray". Library Journal. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  20. ^ Taylor, Gilbert (15 May 1998). "Full Dress Gray". Booklist. Retrieved 8 June 2013.

External links[edit]