Robert Ludlum was born May 25, 1927 in New York City. He enlisted in the Marines at the age of eighteen and received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1951. He began acting professionally at the age of sixteen in the 1943 Broadway production of Junior Miss. He also had roles in summer stock and appeared in over 200 television dramas for such live programs as Studio One and Kraft Television Theater. He then tried producing with the 1956 Broadway production of The Owl and the Pussycat. He took the play, four years later, to his creation of Shopping-Center Theater at Playhouse-on-the-Mall in Paramus, New Jersey. His first novel, The Scarlatti Inheritance, was published in 1971. His other works include The Matlock Paper, The Chancellor Manuscript, The Bourne Identity, The Scorpio Illusion, The Matarese Countdown, and The Bancroft Strategy. He also wrote under the pseudonyms Jonathan Ryder and Michael Shepherd. He died on March 12, 2001 at the age of 74.