Ohio connection: Resident
Born Lester Roubert in Chicago, Illinois, Les Roberts had his surname legally changed in 1968. Roberts is the son of Lester Nathaniel (a dentist) and Eleanor Sybil (Bauch) Roubert. He married Gail Medland in 1957 and they divorced in 1980 after having two children: Valerie Lynne and Darren Jon. Les Roberts attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Roosevelt University, 1954-56. Roberts has lived in the Cleveland area since 1990, which is the setting for his popular Milan Jacovich series of mystery novels. In addition to the Jacovich books, which number over a dozen, Roberts has written numerous other books, including the memoir We’ll Always Have Cleveland. He writes regular book reviews for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer and articles for the Currents section of the Chagrin Valley Times.
Best First Private Eye Novel Award, Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin’s Press, 1986, for An Infinite Number of Monkeys; Cleveland Arts Prize for Literature, 1992; grant from Ohio Arts Council, 1993. Sherwood Anderson Literary Award, 2003. Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Cleveland State University, 2009.