Born in Brooklyn, Warren Adler is a product of the New York public school system. He graduated from PS91, Brooklyn Technical High School, and New York University, where he majored in English literature.
Inspired by his freshman English Professor Don Wolfe, Adler later went on to study creative writing with Dr. Wolfe when he taught at the New School. There he also studied under Dr. Charles Glicksberg. Among his classmates were Mario Puzo, William Styron, and many other talented writers. In 2009, Adler was the recipient of the “Alumni of the Year” Award at NYU’s College of Arts and Science.
After graduating from New York University with a degree in English literature, Adler worked for the New York Daily News before becoming Editor of the Queens Post, a prize winning weekly newspaper on Long Island. His column ‘Pepper on the Side’ became a staple at a number of newspapers in the country. During the Korean War, he served in the US Army in the Pentagon as the only Washington Correspondent for Armed Forces Press Service where his bylined stories went out weekly to all publications produced by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Prior to his success as a novelist, Adler had a distinguished career as an entrepreneur. He has owned four radio stations and a TV station, founded and ran his own advertising and public relations agency in Washington, D.C.; his firm Warren Adler Ltd. was responsible for advertising and PR campaigns for political candidates, numerous businesses, and apartment and home communities. Among his clients was the Watergate complex, which Adler named himself. Adler was a consultant to the Nixon campaign in 1968 where his brief was the Jewish vote. He subsequently served as an advisor to the first Nixon administration. He closed his agency in 1974 after the publication of his first novel, Undertow, and has since, been devoted full-time to his writing career.
Since then he has devoted full time to writing novels, short stories and plays. He has fifty published novels, plays, poems and essays, and more than a hundred short stories. Best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the dark comedy box office hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito, Adler quickly became the fountainhead of Hollywood screenplay adaptations, fueling an unprecedented bidding war in a Hollywood commission for his unpublished book Private Lies. Tri-State Pictures outbid Warner Bros and Columbia, and purchased the film rights to Private Lies for $1.2 million, the highest sums yet paid then in Hollywood for an unpublished manuscript. Starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas, Random Hearts was described by The New York Times as having “stylistic polish and keenness of observation not often found in American films anymore.”
Produced by Linda Lavin for PBS’ American Playhouse series, Adler’s The Sunset Gang, a book of short stories about a retirement community was adapted into a trilogy starring Uta Hagen, Harold Gould, Dori Brenner and Jerry Stiller, garnering Doris Roberts an Emmy nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series’. Los Angeles Times called it “dramatically daring,” The Wall Street Journal said, “Those stories are in fact, pure drama – moving, comical, and most of all, sharply observed.” The musical version of The Sunset Gang received an Off-Broadway production with music scored by noted composer L. Russell Brown, and book by Warren Adler.
His works currently in development are The War of the Roses – The Children (Grey Eagle Films/ Permut Presentations), a feature film adaptation of the sequel to Adler’s iconic divorce story; Target Churchill (Grey Eagle Films and Solution Entertainment); Mourning Glory, to be adapted by award-winning director Karen Leigh Hopkins, Cult, to be adapted by award-winning screenwriter Alex McAulay, Funny Boys, to be co-produced by Grey Eagle Films in partnership with Julian McMahon and Charlie Loventhal, Serpent’s Bite, to be co-produced/starred in by Pitch Perfect star Anna Camp, Torture Man, to be adapted by blacklist screenwriter Hernany Perla, and Capitol Crimes (Grey Eagle Films/ Sennet Entertainment), a television series to be developed by Emmy Award winning writer, Eric Overmyer, based on Adler’s Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series.
Adler’s New York Echoes has also been released as an audio book with Emmy Award winning actress Cynthia Nixon narrating this collection of short stories. Warren Adler’s themes stress intimate human relationships—the mysterious nature of love and attraction, the fragile relationships between husbands and wives, and parents and children, the corrupting power of money, the aging process, and how families cling together when challenged by the outside world.
An essayist, short-story writer, poet and playwright, Adler’s works have been translated into 25 languages and have received stellar reviews by all major publications including: The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, Variety, Publishers Weekly, Glamour, New York Daily News, Time, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Gannett News Service, Chicago Tribune, The London Telegraph, and The Hollywood Reporter.
Adler himself, regularly blogs for The Huffington Post, and lectures on creative writing, motion picture adaptation, and the future of e-books. He has taught novel writing seminars at NYU, and is the sponsor of the ‘Warren Adler Visiting Writer’ series at NYU’s Creative Writing Program. From 2005 to 2012, Adler sponsored the first online Short Story Contest awarding cash prizes to winning submissions from emerging writers the world over. Adler is the founder of the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference and has been Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jackson Hole Public Library.
A pioneer in electronic publishing, Adler introduced the first viable digital reader manufactured by SONY in 2007. After being published by such houses as Viking, Putnam, Crown, William Morrow and Warner Books, he re-acquired his complete backlist and converted his entire library to digital publishing formats, published now under his own company, Stonehouse Productions.
He is married to Sonia Adler nee Kline, the former editor and co-founder, with her son David, of the Washington Dossier magazine. Another son Jonathan Robert Adler is head of Grey Eagle films, which owns the rights to adapt his father’s novels to film and television. Warren and Sonia’s youngest son Michael, an actor, is the Creative Vice President of Grey Eagle Films. Adler is a member of the Authors Guild, PEN America, the Century Association, and the Lotos Club.
Explore Warren Adler Books