Browne Popular Culture Library

PCL MS-109: Michael Avallone Collection


Michael Avallone was a freelance writer, editor, cartoonist, and film critic.  He has written in almost every literary genre and is known for his fast-paced, pulp-like, novels.  The Michael Avallone Collection dates from 1941 to 1982 and consists of various correspondence, notes, newspaper articles, and book reviews. The collection spans ½ linear feet and was originally filed in the Michael Cook Collection but was separated out May 22, 1989. 

There are no restrictions placed upon the use of this collection for scholarly purposes. The collection is open for research; however, photocopying of manuscripts must comply with applicable copyright laws.  Researchers are responsible for securing copyright permission when using all unpublished manuscripts and published works authored by Michael Avallone.  This register was compiled by Annie Rose Land, Popular Culture Library Associate I, in June 2013.

Biographical Sketch

Michael Avallone was born October 27, 1924 in New York, New York. He was one of seventeen children born to Michael Angelo and Marie Antoinette Avallone. Tragedy struck the family when his father, a stone mason, lost his business and home during the Great Depression. Michael Avallone experienced a love for the English language at a very young age, and thrived on pulps and their fast paced, energetic story lines. He married twice, first to Lucille Asero in 1949 and then to Frances Weinstein May 27, 1960. He has three children: Stephen (from marriage with Lucille Asero), Susan, and David (from marriage with Frances Weinstein). During World War Two he served in the United States Army from 1943-1946, in the European Theatre. He has claimed that his experiences during the Great Depression and WWII have served as an inspiration for his writings. He worked as a freelance writer, editor, cartoonist, film critic, and a creative writing teacher for high schools and colleges. He was a guest lecturer on short stories and mystery writing and he served as the Chairman of the Motion Picture Awards Committee from 1965-1967. He was a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), and served as the New York Chapter Director, from 1962-1966. Michael Avallone got his start writing sports pulps and moved his way up to editing men's magazines. He served as the editor for the MWA newsletter from 1962-1965. During his writing career he has managed to turn out more than 1,000 published works under more than a dozen pseudonyms. He has authored in virtually every genre from gothic and detective to poetry, essays, and movie reviews. He believed that a professional writer should be able to write on any subject. Some of his writing highlights include the Ed Noon detective series, movie novelizations and TV novelizations.

He had the reputation of the "Fastest Typewriter in the East" and is known to have written a book in a day and a half. He died February 26, 1999. Michael Avallone viewed writing as more of a compulsion than a profession. He claims he was writing since he first discovered pencils and has never stopped since.

Scope and Content

The Michael Avallone Collection consists of correspondence with Michael Cook as well as other letters praising or criticizing his written works.  It includes several book reviews and book covers, as well as articles that mention or discuss Michael Avallone within them.  There are several pieces of writing that Michael Avallone authored in the collection that seem to be notes and thoughts about life, his writings, and other authors.  A researcher interested in the thoughts of a pulp writer would find research value in this collection.  Please note that Boston University also holds an extensive collection of Michael Avallone’s works and life.

Series Description

General Correspondence
Michael Avallone to Michael Cook
September 4, 1971 – February 23, 1980
Arranged chronologically
Letters from Michael Avallone to Michael Cook; letters focus on their writing careers and thoughts on each other’s works; please note that some letters are contained in plastic wrappings to protect and preserve the letters as there are some corrective sections that have been glued on and are falling off
General Correspondence
Literary Praise and Criticism
Arranged chronologically
Letters from publishing companies and other authors praising or criticizing Michael Avallone’s works; please note that letters are photocopies and the dates are not able to be in exact order as some photocopies contain two letters of different dates
Literary Productions
Notes/Various Writings
1951-1980, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Various writings by Michael Avallone about his writing, others writings, and other various notes to himself
Scrapbooks and Scrapbook Materials
Newspaper Clippings
1969-1982, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Newspaper articles about Michael Avallone
Book Reviews
1957-1977, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Clippings from reviews of Michael Avallone’s books
Printed Materials
Book Covers
1957-1972, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Various covers from Michael Avallone’s books
List of Works
1956-1977, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Photocopies of lists of Michael Avallone’s books and a list of his audio works as well
1941-1979 (scattered)
Various photographs from Michael Avallone’s life; please note that the photographs are photocopies and there are several photographs per photocopy sheet which makes it difficult to arrange the photographs chronologically


 Box 1
1Correspondence: Michael Avallone to Michael CookSeptember 4, 1971- February 23, 1980
2Correspondence: Literary Praise and Criticisms1948-1977
3Notes/Various Writings1951-1980, n.d.
4Newspaper Articles about Michael Avallone1969-1982, n.d.
5Book Review Articles1957-1977, n.d.
6Book Covers1957-1972, n.d.
7List of works, books and audio (incomplete)1956-1977, n.d.
8Photographs (photocopies)1941-1979 (scattered)

Back to A-Z Listing of Manuscript Collections