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Paul Gallico, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1937
Public DomainPaul Gallico, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1937

 Born in New York City on July 26, 1897 to an Italian father and an Austrian mother, Paul Gallico authored many books, but is best remembered for The Snow Goose and The Poseidon Adventure.

A 1919 graduate of Columbia University, he became a well known sports writer in the 1920s.   

In the 1930s he shifted from sports writing to fiction. He sold many short stories to magazines, including The Snow Goose, which first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1941 and won the O’Henry Award that same year.

In all, he wrote 41 books and numerous short stories, twenty theatrical movies and twelve TV movies. He had a TV series based on his Hiram Holliday short stories.

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has said that Gallico’s 1968 book, Maxmouse, was one of her favorite childhood books.

Gallico once told New York Magazine, "I'm a rotten novelist. I'm not even literary. I just like to tell stories and all my books tell stories.... If I had lived 2,000 years ago I'd be going around to caves, and I'd say, 'Can I come in? I'm hungry. I'd like some supper. In exchange, I'll tell you a story. Once upon a time there were two apes.' And I'd tell them a story about two cavemen."

In 1975, Camel, a British rock band, released an album inspired by The Snow Goose.

Gallico died on July 15, 1976.

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