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Irving Werstein (1914–1971)

Author of 1861-1865

Includes the names: Irving Wersten, Irving Werstein -

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Irving Werstein was born and raised in Brooklyn, but grew up in Queens. He attended P.S. 90 and graduated from Richmond Hill High School, where he was on the staff of the school paper. Despite the Depression years of the early 1930's, he entered New York University, but family finances forced him to leave school only after 2 years. He claimed he left college to "see the world." He enjoyed various careers along the way, including those of waiter, camp counselor, factory worker, reporter. Mr. Werstein made his first writing sale in 1938. Before being drafted in 1941, Werstein sold many stories to mens and adventure magazines He served in the Army during WWII, stationed in Panama. On the eve of his transportation to England for the D-Day invasion, he contracted malaria, and sat out the remainder of the war stateside. In the army, he honed his writing skills working for the Army magazine, Yank. He achieved the exalted rank of Corporal. After his honorable discharge, he seriously embarked on a full-time writing career, selling his stories to the likes of Saturday Evening Post, plus radio and TV. He spent much of the late 40's and early 50's traveling, living abroad in England, Mexico and Italy. He returned and resided permanently in New York City, in particular, at the newly developed Stuyvesant Town apartments. His first published book, July 1863, came out in the fall of 1957. His newly adopted son arrived on February 22, 1958, a four year old born in Belgium. With his wife Goldie, the family resided continuously on the lower east side, with a move to Peter Cooper Village in 1968. Mr. Westein wrote over 50 books, mostly concentrating his efforts on non-fiction writing for young adults. He died of a sudden heart attack on April 7 1971. His wife died several months later. He left behind his young son Jack, now a librarian, living in Washington D.C. with his own adopted son, Michael.
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