Peter Maas

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Peter Maas
Peter Maas.jpg
Born(1929-06-27)June 27, 1929
New York City, U.S.
DiedAugust 23, 2001(2001-08-23) (aged 72)
New York City, U.S.
GenreCrime fiction
Notable worksThe Valachi Papers (1968), Underboss (1997)

Peter Maas (June 27, 1929 – August 23, 2001) was an American journalist and author. He was born in New York City and attended Duke University. Maas had Dutch and Irish heritage.[1]

He was the biographer of Frank Serpico, a New York City Police officer who testified against police corruption.[1] He is also the author of the number one New York Times bestseller, Underboss, about the life and times of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.

His other notable bestsellers include The Valachi Papers, Manhunt, and In a Child's Name, recipient of the 1991 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime book. The Valachi Papers, which told the story of Mafia turncoat Joseph Valachi, is widely considered to be a seminal work, as it spawned an entire genre of books written by or about former Mafiosi.

Peter Maas was married to Audrey Gellen Maas, with whom he adopted a son, John-Michael Maas. Audrey died in 1975. Maas died in New York City, aged 72, on August 23, 2001; he is survived by his third wife, Suzanne, and their son, Terrence.[2] He made a brief cameo as himself in an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street.


  • 1967—The Rescuer: The Extraordinary Life of the Navy's "Swede" Momsen and His Role in an Epic Submarine Disaster. ASIN B000IDBZ58 (Note: The Terrible Hours pulls material from this book.)
  • 1968—The Valachi Papers ISBN 0-399-10832-7 filmed as The Valachi Papers
  • 1973—Serpico: The Cop Who Defied the System ISBN 0-670-63498-0 filmed as Serpico[3][1]
  • 1974—King of the Gypsies ISBN 0-670-41317-8 filmed as King of the Gypsies
  • 1979—Made in America: A Novel ISBN 0-670-44555-X
  • 1983—Marie: A True Story ISBN 0-671-60773-1 filmed as Marie, winner of a Christopher Award[4]
  • 1986—Manhunt: The Incredible Pursuit of a CIA Agent Turned Terrorist ISBN 0-394-55293-8 The story of CIA agent Edwin P. Wilson.[5]
  • 1989—Father and Son: A Novel ISBN 0-671-63172-1
  • 1990—In a Child's Name: The Legacy of a Mother's Murder ISBN 0-671-69416-2 filmed as In a Child's Name
  • 1994—China White: A Novel ISBN 0-671-69417-0
  • 1996—Killer Spy: Inside Story of the FBI's Pursuit and Capture of Aldrich Ames, America's Deadliest Spy ISBN 0-446-60279-5 (Note: This is the mass market paperback edition.)
  • 1997—Underboss ISBN 0-06-018256-3
  • 1999—The Terrible Hours: The Man Behind the Greatest Submarine Rescue in History ISBN 0-06-019480-4 The story Charles Momsen's rescue of the USS Squalus (SS-192).

See also[edit]

  • Charles Momsen, the subject of Maas' book The Terrible Hours: The Man Behind the Greatest Submarine Rescue in History [6]


  1. ^ a b c Thompson, Tony (August 25, 2001). "Peter Maas". The Guardian. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  2. ^ "Peter Maas, Writer Who Chronicled the Mafia, Dies at 72". August 24, 2001.
  3. ^ Maas, Peter (1973), Serpico: The Cop Who Defied the System, Viking Adult, ISBN 0-670-63498-0
  4. ^ The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1985. New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc. p. 415. ISBN 0-911818-71-5.
  5. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "Manhunt|Paperback". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  6. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "The Terrible Hours|Paperback". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 31, 2019.

External links[edit]