William P. McGivern

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McGivern in the 1950s
McGivern's novella "Convoy to Atlantis" was the cover story in the November 1941 issue of Amazing Stories

William Peter McGivern (December 6, 1918 - November 18, 1982) was an American novelist and television scriptwriter. He published more than 20 novels, mostly mysteries and crime thrillers, some under the pseudonym Bill Peters. His novels were adapted for a number of films, among them Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), a noir tale of three losers, The Big Heat (1953), starring Glenn Ford as a cop that will do anything to get his man, and Rogue Cop (1954), a film noir directed by Roy Rowland. The Big Heat received an Edgar Award in 1954 as Best Motion Picture, which McGivern shared as author of the original novel. He also published over one hundred science fiction stories during the 1940s and 1950s.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, McGivern grew up in Mobile, Alabama. After serving in the Army in World War II and studying at the University of Birmingham, McGivern returned to the US and worked for two years as a police reporter for the Philadelphia Bulletin and later as a writer for The Evening Bulletin. His first novel appeared in 1948.[citation needed]

In 1947, he married Maureen Daly, one of four sisters Time Magazine referred to as "the celebrated Daly sisters", who were known for their writing and work in, journalism, fashion and advertising. William and Maureen McGivern co-wrote Mention My Name in Mombasa: the Unscheduled Adventures of an American Family Abroad, which covered their times and adventures living oversees, including Africa, Torremolinos, Spain and Ireland.[citation needed]

While a successful novelist, McGivern moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s to write for television and film. His credits include the TV series Ben Casey, Adam-12, and Kojak and the William Castle film, I Saw What You Did (1965). McGivern died in Palm Desert, California in 1982, aged 63.


  • "Unnatural Law: William McGivern's Rogue Cops", James Rodgers, Matthew O'Brien (eds), After the Flood: Irish America 1945-1960. Dublin Irish Academic Press (2009)

External links[edit]

William P. McGivern at the Internet Movie Database

William P. McGivern at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database