Warren Adler

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Warren Adler
Born(1927-12-16)December 16, 1927
Brooklyn, New York
DiedApril 15, 2019(2019-04-15) (aged 91)
Manhattan, New York
EducationNew York University, The New School
GenreFiction, Poetry, Essays
Notable worksThe War of the Roses, Random Hearts, The Sunset Gang
SpouseSonia Adler
ChildrenMichael Adler, Jonathan Adler, David Adler

Warren Adler (December 16, 1927 – April 15, 2019)[1] was an American author, playwright and poet. His novel The War of the Roses was turned into a dark comedy starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito.

An essayist, short-story writer, poet and playwright, Adler’s works have been translated into 25 languages. His most recent and most favorite work is Last Call, a sunset love story between two 80-year-old people.

Education and early career[edit]

Adler was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Fritzie and Sol Adler.[2] His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants.[3] He graduated from P.S. 91, Brooklyn Technical High School, New York University, and attended the New School. Among his classmates were Mario Puzo and William Styron.[4] In 2009, Adler was the recipient of the "Alumni of the Year" honor at NYU’s College of Arts and Science[5] and was also the founder of the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference, WY. During his residence in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Adler was Chairman of the Library Board.

After graduating from NYU with a degree in English literature, Adler worked for the New York Daily News before becoming editor of the Queens Post, a prize-winning weekly.

During the Korean War, he served in the US Army in the Pentagon as the Washington Correspondent for Armed Forces Press Service. Prior to his success as a novelist, Adler had a distinguished career as an entrepreneur. He has owned four radio stations and a TV station, founded and ran his own advertising and public relations agency in Washington, D.C.; his firm Warren Adler Ltd. was responsible for advertising and PR campaigns for political candidates, numerous businesses, and apartment and home communities. Among his clients was the Watergate complex, which Adler named.[6] He closed his agency in 1974 after the publication of his first novel, Undertow, and devoted himself to a full-time writing career. Adler sponsored the Warren Adler Short Story contest, a pioneer literary contest on the web.

Personal life[edit]

Adler's three children are David, Jonathan, and Michael, an actor.

On April 15, 2019, Warren died of liver cancer in his Manhattan apartment. He was 91.[7]

Writing career[edit]

He published The War of the Roses and Random Hearts. The War of the Roses was adapted into a feature film starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito in 1989.[4] Random Hearts was adapted into a film starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas in 1999.[8] There was a bidding war in a Hollywood commission for his unpublished book Private Lies.[9] Newsweek reported, "TriStar Pictures outbid Warner Bros and Columbia, and purchased the film rights to Private Lies for $1.2 million. …the highest sums yet paid in Hollywood for an unpublished manuscript."[10]

Adler also wrote The Sunset Gang, produced by Linda Lavin for PBS’ American Playhouse series.[11] It was adapted into a trilogy starring Uta Hagen, Harold Gould, Dori Brenner, Jerry Stiller and Ron Rifkin garnering Doris Roberts an Emmy nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series’. The musical version of The Sunset Gang received an Off-Broadway production with music scored by noted composer L. Russell Brown.

In 1981, Adler authored a sequel to The War of the Roses called The Children of the Roses.[12] The follow-up focuses on the aftermath of the events in The War of the Roses, and the effect the Roses' divorce had on their children.

From its conception, Adler was involved in electronic publishing. In the early 2000s, Adler predicted the decline of printed books and he envisioned digital publishing becoming the norm. He acquired his complete back-list and converted this library to a digital publishing format, published now under his own company, Stonehouse Press. He based this action on the hope that his books would never go out of print; they would last beyond his lifetime and would be a legacy of his life’s work. Adler wrote an article for The Author’s Guild stating that authors had best prepare for a major change in the way traditional publishing businesses operated. He argued that traditional publishers no longer had a monopoly on marketing, distribution, publicity, and content and stated prolific authors like himself should take charge of their own destiny since traditional publishers would slowly fade as the principle conduit from authors to readership.[13]

His name is a clue in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle.

Adler regularly blogged for The Huffington Post and was the sponsor of a visiting writer series at the New York university department of creative writing.[14]

Sometimes dubbed the Master of Dysfunction, Adler’s themes stress intimate human relationships—the mysterious nature of love and attraction; the fragile relationships between husbands and wives, and parents and children; the corrupting power of money; the aging process; and how families cling together when challenged by the outside world.

Adler was a member of the Authors Guild, PEN America, the Dramatist Guild and the Writers Guild of America.

The War of the Roses[edit]

The stage play has premiered internationally in Belgium, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Norway, Iceland, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay, France, Brazil, and Netherlands. A Broadway production is planned.

Fiona Fitzgerald Series[edit]

Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series revolves around Fiona Fitzgerald, a woman in her 30’s who was born into the illustrious family of a New York senator but chose to break away and become a homicide detective.

American Quartet is the first book, and it was not originally planned as a series until the New York Times listed the novel on its list of "Notable Crime Fiction" in December 1982, and calling it "high-class suspense." Following American Quartet, Fiona embarks on a long journey of harrowing cases throughout eight other books. American Sextet deals with a sex scandal involving six of the most important individuals in Washington D.C. Immaculate Deception deals with a congresswoman who is a pro-life supporter—she is not only found dead, but pregnant. The Witch of Watergate focuses on the death of a gossip columnist, who is discovered hanging from a balcony in the Watergate apartment complex. Senator Love is about a womanizing senator whose lover is found murdered. Ties That Bind focuses on a sado-masochistic killing in a Washington D.C. hotel. The Death of a Washington Madame is about the murder of one of Washington D.C.’s most important hostesses. And in Washington Masquerade, the latest novel in the series, Fiona unravels the death of a prominent Washington Post political columnist and fierce critic of the administration.

The Fiona Fitzgerald novels are in development to be adapted for a television series.[15]

Grey Eagle Films[edit]

Grey Eagle Films is an independent film production company developing the literary properties of Warren Adler. Grey Eagle Films has exclusive rights to all 53 Adler novels and 100 plus short stories with eleven projects in development: seven films and four television series.[citation needed] Jonathan R. Adler is the CEO and Michael Adler is the Head of Creative Development.[16]



  • The War of the Roses
  • The Children of the Roses
  • The Sunset Gang
  • Target Churchill
  • The David Embrace
  • Flanagan's Dolls
  • The Womanizer
  • Residue
  • Empty Treasures
  • Random Hearts
  • Funny Boys
  • Trans-Siberian Express
  • Mourning Glory
  • Cult
  • The Casanova Embrace
  • Blood Ties
  • Natural Enemies
  • Banquet Before Dawn
  • The Housewife Blues
  • Madeline's Miracles
  • We Are Holding the President Hostage
  • Private Lies
  • Twilight Child
  • The Norma Conquest
  • The Henderson Equation
  • Undertow
  • The Serpent's Bite
  • Treadmill
  • Torture Man
  • Mother Nile
  • Heart of Gold
  • High Noon in Hollywood
  • Finding Grace: Captured by a Cult


Short stories[edit]

  • Warren Adler Short Story Contest Winners
  • New York Echoes 1
  • New York Echoes 2
  • The Sunset Gang
  • Never Too Late for Love
  • Jackson Hole: Uneasy Eden
  • The Washington Dossier Diaries

The Fiona Fitzgerald Mysteries[edit]

  • American Quartet
  • American Sextet
  • Death of a Washington Madame
  • The Witch of Watergate
  • Senator Love
  • Immaculate Deception
  • The Ties That Bind
  • Washington Masquerade
  • Red Herring[18]


  1. ^ Warren Adler Dies: ‘The War Of The Roses’ Author Was 91
  2. ^ https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/adler-warren-1927
  3. ^ https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X4LF-7N9
  4. ^ a b Jefferson, Robin Seaton. "'War Of The Roses' Author, Now 89, Weighs In On 23 Myths And Stereotypes On Aging". Forbes. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  5. ^ da4nyc (October 4, 2009), Warren Adler Receives Alumni Award from NYU, retrieved June 13, 2018
  6. ^ Adler, Warren (March 30, 2016). "Reflections on Balancing Family Life While Pursuing A Career in the Arts". Entrepreneur. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Marble, Steve (April 16, 2019). "Warren Adler, who examined family dysfunction in 'The War of the Roses,' dies at 91". latimes.com. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  8. ^ Aguilar, Carlos (August 16, 2014). "Delayed But Not Dead: 17 Films that Beat the Odds and Made It To Audiences". IndieWire. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Soon To Be A Major Novel". Newsweek. April 28, 1991. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  11. ^ Drazan, Anthony; Skaggs, Calvin (April 5, 1991), The Sunset Gang, Leslie Ayvazian, Francine Beers, Harold Bergman, retrieved June 13, 2018
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Your money." New York Times August 21, 2005.
  14. ^ "New York university creative writing program to feature Pulitzer prize winners junot diaz and charles wright and others in November and December." New York university news.
  15. ^ Yamato, Jen (May 28, 2014). "'Treme's Eric Overmyer, Bo Derek Board Political Drama Series 'Capitol Crimes' Adapted From Warren Adler Novels".
  16. ^ "Grey Eagle Films - Warren Adler".
  17. ^ "Bookshelf of Bestselling Author Warren Adler". Warren Adler. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  18. ^ "Red Herring - Fiona Fitzgerald Mystery Series - Warren Adler". Warren Adler. February 10, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.

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