Alistair MacLean was born in Glasgow, Scotland on April 28, 1922. During World War II, he served in the Royal Navy. He graduated with a degree in English from Glasgow University. Before becoming a full-time author, he was a teacher. He wrote numerous books including HMS Ulysses, The Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra, Where Eagles Dare, Dark Crusader, Satan Bug, Captain Cook: A Biography, and Santorini. He also wrote The Black Shrike and The Satan Bug under the pseudonym Ian Stuart. Several of his books were adapted into movies including The Secret Ways, Fear Is the Key, and When Eight Bells Toll. He also wrote several original screenplays including Breakheart Pass and conceived an adventure drama for television entitled The Hostage Towers. He died of heart failure on February 2, 1987 at the age of 64.