He worked for United Press International as a sports reporter from 1940 to 1965 but still managed to write during his free time. Over the course of his lifetime, Fraley penned 31 books, including Hoffa, The Real Story (Stein and Day, 1975).
In 1956, he was introduced to Ness while working as a reporter for UPI. It was this encounter that served as the inspiration for The Untouchables (1957). By 1957, Fraley had written most of the proofs for the manuscript of the book. Ness read these proofs shortly before his own death that same year, and the book was released a month after Ness's death.
The Untouchables sold 1.5 million copies and served as the basis for the television series and movie of the same name. This book, among Fraley's other books about the Untouchables, was heavily spiced with fiction, including fictional characters and events in order to make the books more appealing to a general audience. The 21-page manuscript that Ness wrote for the book was a more trustworthy source and only included the real events that Ness experienced during his career. Ness's manuscript is housed in the archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio.
The book was adapted in multiple media and inspired many additional works. The best-known eponymous adaptations include the 1959 TV series The Untouchables starring Robert Stack as Ness and narrated by Walter Winchell, the 1987 film The Untouchables by Brian De Palma starring Kevin Costner as Ness and featuring Sean Connery and Robert De Niro, and the short-lived 1993 TV series The Untouchables.
- "Oscar Fraley, 79, 'Untouchables' Author". The New York Times. January 9, 1994. Retrieved April 14, 2008.
- IMDB - Oscar Fraley filmography. Accessed April 14, 2008.
- "Whatever happened to Eliot Ness after the trial of Al Capone?". Ask Yahoo!.
- McFarland, Marilyn; Stone, Mark Wade (January 2012). "Eliot Ness". Cleveland Police Museum/Cleveland Police Historical Society. Retrieved 8 May 2013.