DePaul alum, author Bill Granger, 70, dies
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
For one Chicago mystery novelist and DePaul alum, the greatest mystery of all recently ended. Author and former journalist Bill Granger died April 22. He was 70.
Granger is well-known for both his novels and his journalism career. Born and raised in Chicago, his writings filled the city’s publications, beginning with the St. Ambrose Catholic School newsletters in 1951 and ending with The Daily Herald in 1999. Granger even held the position of editor-in-chief for The DePaulia from 1962-63. Throughout his career, Granger wrote mostly feature stories and television critiques from such esteemed publications as The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times and United Press International.
According to Maureen O’Donnell’s obituary in the Sun-Times, “(Granger) liked nothing better than printing a scoop and heading to journalistic watering holes such as Riccardo’s and the Billy Goat to crow — or argue — about it.”
Despite his talent for reporting, Granger didn’t stop there. After reporting on the Belfast riots in 1971, he was inspired to write his first book, a spy novel called “The November Man.” The novel was published in 1979, the same year the IRA assassinated Lord Mountbatten. The book was widely read, as it drew parallels to the assassination. Riding the critical acclaim that followed, Granger wrote a series of 13 “November Man” novels in the next 14 years.
Granger was not one to sit and think. He always acted – and quickly. “Once, the Sun-Times assigned him to write up a history of China — in two hours. He did,” wrote O’Donnell.
Using the aliases of Joe Gash and Bill Griffiths, Granger also wrote several other works of fiction and nonfiction, including a critique on the U.S. education system and special education, inspired by his son’s learning disability. He wrote the book with his wife, Lori, whom he met when they both worked as “copy boys” at the Washington Post.
After suffering from several strokes, Granger spent the last 10 years of his life at Manteno Veterans Home, where he died. He is survived by his wife Lori, his son Alec and his sister Ruth Wellens.