John Creasey MBE (17 September 1908 – 9 June 1973) was an acclaimed English author renowned for his prolific output in various genres, including detective novels, crime fiction, science fiction, romance, and westerns. Throughout his career, Creasey published more than six hundred novels under twenty-eight different pseudonyms.

Creasey’s notable creations include several ongoing characters like The Toff (The Honourable Richard Rollison), Commander George Gideon of Scotland Yard, Inspector Roger West, The Baron (John Mannering), Doctor Emmanuel Cellini, and Doctor Stanislaus Alexander Palfrey. His character Gideon of Scotland Yard inspired the TV series “Gideon’s Way” and John Ford’s film “Gideon’s Day” (1958). Another character, The Baron, was adapted into a TV series in the 1960s with Steve Forrest in the lead role.

Born in Southfields, London, to a working-class family, Creasey faced early challenges but was driven by his passion for writing. He experienced numerous rejections before his first book was published in 1930. A quick and efficient writer, he often joked about his ability to write a book in a glass-box. His career took off in the 1930s, with 1937 alone seeing the publication of twenty-nine of his books.

In 1938, Creasey introduced The Toff, with the series extending to 59 novels. During World War II, he created Dr. Stanislaus Alexander Palfrey, leading to a series of 34 books. Several of Creasey’s novels were adapted into films and TV series, including “Salute the Toff,” “Hammer the Toff,” and “Gideon’s Day.”

Apart from his writing, Creasey was a significant figure in the literary community. He won an Edgar Award for “Gideon’s Fire” and received the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award in 1969. He also served as president of the organization in 1966.

Creasey lived in Dorset and later in Wiltshire, where he passed away in 1973. His copyrights were later transferred to Owatonna Media and subsequently sold to Coolabi Plc in 2009.

His son, Richard Creasey, is an author and television producer, known for developing his father’s “Doctor Palfrey” series into a new series of techno-thrillers.

John Creasey also founded the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) in 1953, and the CWA New Blood Dagger is awarded in his memory for first-time authors. This prolific writer’s legacy continues through the numerous characters and stories he created, his influence in the crime writing community, and his son’s continuation of his work.

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