Harry Kemelman

Harry Kemelman was an American professor of English and mystery author best known for his novels featuring the astute Rabbi David Small. The novel Friday the Rabbi Slept Late earned him the 1965 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

Harry Kemelman hailed from Boston, Massachusetts. He earned a B.A. in English Literature from Boston University and an M.A. in English Philology from Harvard.

Kemelman embarked on a teaching career. During World War II, he was a wage administrator for the U.S. Army Transportation Corps and the War Assets Administration. Post-war, he explored freelance writing and business before settling into academia as an assistant professor at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and Boston State College during the 1960s.

He began writing short stories for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, introducing the character Nicky Welt. His story, The Nine Mile Walk, has received particular praise from mystery fans.

His most famous creation, Rabbi David Small, debuted in 1964 with Friday the Rabbi Slept Late. The novel became a bestseller and earned him the 1965 Edgar Award. Several Rabbi Small novels have been acclaimed for their engaging mysteries intertwined with explorations of Conservative Judaism.

The success of his work extended to screen adaptations. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late was adapted into a TV film and series, Lanigan's Rabbi (1977), with Art Carney and Stuart Margolin leading the cast.

Besides, his story, The Nine Mile Walk (1947), was brought to life in a film by director Alvaro Brechner, which received acclaim at over 100 international film festivals.

The life of Harry Kemelman ended in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He was 88 years old.
years of life: 24 November 1908 15 December 1996
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