Larry Collins

Writer, journalist

Writer and journalist Larry Collins, whose passion for history spawned a string of international best sellers including “Is Paris Burning?,” died June 20 of a sudden cerebral hemorrhage in southern France. He was 75.

For five decades, he co-wrote books with Dominique Lapierre, whom he met while Collins was serving in the U.S. Army, based in Paris.

Among the five works the pair co-authored were: “Or I’ll Dress You in Mourning” (1968) about fabled Spanish bullfighter Manuel Benitez “El Cordobes;” the 1975 best seller “Freedom at Midnight” about India’s freedom from British rule, and “O Jerusalem” (1971) about the birth of Israel.

“Is Paris Burning?”, published in 1964, about the Nazi occupation of the French capital during World War II, was made into a 1966 film by Rene Clement starringAlain Delon, Kirk Douglas and Glenn Ford. A film version of “O Jerusalem” by helmer Elie Chouraqui wrapped recently.

Collins also wrote numerous books on his own.

Born in West Hartford, Conn., Collins graduated from Yale University and roamed the world as a journalist. He was a foreign correspondent for United Press International based in Paris, Rome, Cairo and Beirut in the 1950s. He left the wire agency for the weekly magazine Newsweek and was the magazine’s Paris bureau chief from 1961-1965.

He is survived by his wife, Nadia, and their two sons.

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