Writer Ross Thomas was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on February 19, 1926. During World War II, he served in the Philippines. Before becoming a writer in 1965, he worked as a pulic relations specialist and a reporter. He has written over twenty novels, including The Cold War Swap, which won the 1967 Edgar Award for best first novel, and Briarpatch, which won the 1985 Edgar Award for best novel. He also wrote a series of novels under the pseudonym Oliver Bleeck. Besides writing novels, he worked on the following three screenplays: St. Ives, which was based on a character he created, Hammett, and Bad Company. He died in Santa Monica, California on December 18, 1995.