Irving Shulman was a novelist, screenwriter and biographer of Rudolph Valentino, Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Jean Harlow. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish immigrants from Lithuania on May 21, 1913. Shulman received his BA from Ohio University in 1937, his MA from Columbia in 1938, and his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1972. During World War II he worked for the War Department in Washington, D.C. He married Joan Grager in 1938, and they had two daughters.
The Dukes of Amboy, his first novel (and biggest literary success), mined the neighborhoods in which Shulman had grown up and was published in 1947. Shulman moved to Los Angeles in the late 1940s, where he worked as a contract screenwriter and continued to write novels. As a screenwriter, he is best known as the author of the screenplay for the 1955 movie Rebels Without a Cause. Shulman later adapted the movie's plot for his novel Children of the Dark. In the 1960s, Shulman wrote biographies of Jean Harlow (1964), Rudolph Valentino (1967), and Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis (1970). Shulman passed away on March 23, 1995.