Category: Northeast

Porrello, Rick

Cleveland Born: July 1, 1962 Ohio connection: Birth & Resident Rick Porrello is a veteran Cleveland-area police officer who grew up in a family with Mafia roots. His grandfather and three of his uncles were mob leaders who were killed during Prohibition-era violence. His popular book, The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia (1995), grew out of research …

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Pilkey, Dav

Cleveland Born: March 4, 1966 Ohio connection: Birth Dav Pilkey, son of David M. and Barbara (Pembridge) Pilkey, was born in 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was considered to be a “class clown” during his years at parochial schools in Elyria, Ohio. He also struggled with attention deficit disorder, and had numerous difficulties with teachers. It wasn`t …

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Orlean, Susan

Cleveland Born: October 31, 1955 Ohio connection: Birth Born in Cleveland on Halloween 1955, Susan Orlean is the daughter of Arthur and Edith Gross Orlean. In 1976, she obtained her B.A. from the University of Michigan. From 1983-1986, she was a staff writer for the Boston Phoenix. After a year spent with The Boston Globe as a columnist, she has been, …

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Oliver, Mary

Cleveland Born: September 10, 1935 Died: January 17, 2019 Ohio connection: Birth Mary Oliver, daughter of Edward William and Helen M. (Vlasak) Oliver, was born in 1935 in Cleveland, Ohio. At the age of thirteen, Oliver had a great desire to be a writer. In 1950, when she was fifteen, she visited Steepletop, the upstate New York home …

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Moss, Thylias

Cleveland Born: February 27, 1954 Ohio connection: Birth Thylias Moss was born Thylias Rebecca Brasier, daughter of Calvin Theodore and Florida Missouri (Gaiter) Brasier, in 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio. She was an only child who describes her childhood as being a happy one, with doting parents. She wrote her first short story at the age of six …

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Brady, Philip

Born: August 15, 1955 Ohio connection: Resident Youngstown Poet, publisher, educator and writer Phillip Brady was born August 15, 1955 and raised in New York City.  Brady received a B.A. from Bucknell University, M.A.’s from the University of Delaware and San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in English from SUNY Binghamton; he has been an …

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Boyer, Dwight

Born: November 18, 1912 Died: October 15, 1978 Ohio connection: Birth Elyria It was perhaps fate that an Elyria native, born in the same year as the tragic sinking of the Titanic, should devote his life to authoring books about life and death on board ships. Dwight Boyer was born in Elyria, Ohio on November …

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Bourjaily, Vance Nye

Born: September 17, 1922 Died: August 31, 2010 Ohio connection: Birth Cleveland Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 17, 1922, Bourjaily’s family moved several times during his youth; he grew up in Connecticut, New York, and Virginia. His parents separated when he was eleven; they were both writers. Bourjaily’s Lebanese-born father was a journalist and publisher, and …

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Bilgere, George

Born: July 4, 1951 Ohio connection: Resident Cleveland Born July 4, 1951, poet and educator George Bilgere grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and Riverside, California. He received a B. A. from the University of California, Riverside, and an M.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, before earning a Ph.D. in contemporary …

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Biggers, Earl Derr

Born: August 26, 1884 Died:  April 5, 1933 Ohio connection: Birth Warren Earl Derr Biggers was born and raised in Warren, Ohio, the son of Robert J. Biggers and Emma Derr Biggers. He received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1907. He was a columnist and drama critic for the Traveler newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts, from 1908 until …

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