Richard Martin Stern (born March 17, 1915 in Fresno, California; died October 31, 2001 in Santa Fe, New Mexico) was an American novelist. Stern began his writing career in the 1950's with mystery tales of private investigators, winning an Edgar Award for his 1959 for The Bright Road to Fear. He was most notable for his 1973 novel The Tower, in which a fire engulfs a new metal-and-glass frame skyrise. Stern was inspired to write the novel from the construction of the World Trade Center skyscrapers in New York City. Warner Brothers bought the rights to the novel shortly after its publication for roughly 00,000, and Stern's book eventually became the movie The Towering Inferno, directed by Irwin Allen and John Guillermin and featuring an all-star cast. With an incredible fourteen million dollar budget, the film went on to earn over a hundred million at American box office. After the sensational success of The Tower and the move it inspired, Stern continued to write many novels, mainly mysteries and disaster related suspense. He died in 2001 after prolonged illness..
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