1928 – Born on July 23rd in Brooklyn, New York. American writer.
1949 – He married Suzanne Victoria Selby, but with no qualifications, no work experience outside the forces and severe ill-health his job prospects were poor and so he stayed at home to bring up his daughter while his wife worked in a department store.
1950 – He had a succession of jobs – secretary, insurance analyst, freelance copywriter, gas station attendant – whilst working on a collection of short stories called "The Queen in Dead" based on the people he had met in bars near the army base in Brooklyn.
– Several of these stories appeared in small literary journals, including "Black Mountain Review", "New Directions" and "The Provincetown Review".
– The decision of the latter to print his story "Tralala" (about the gang-rape and murder of a prostitute) involved it in an obscenity trial: the editor was arrested for selling pornographic literature to a minor. The case was later dismissed on appeal.
1967 – He spent two months in jail for possession of heroin.
1969 – His frail health no longer able to withstand the severity of New York winters, he moved south to West Hollywood, where he lived until his death.
1971 – His second novel, "The Room", dealt with the sadistic sexual fantasies of an unjustly imprisoned man, plotting revenge on the two policemen who arrested him.
1976-1978 – His novel, "The Demon" was about a man obsessed by brutal, loveless sex, and "Requiem for a Dream" about drug addiction. The latter was written in 6 weeks after a near-fatal bout of pneumonia.
1998-2001 – He wrote two subsequent novels, "The Willow Tree" and "The Waiting Period" as well as collaborating on a screen adaptation of "Requiem for a Dream".
2004 – Died of chronic pulmonary disease on April 26th in Los Angeles, California.