Peter Maas

Bestselling author Peter Maas, whose books on crime became such films as “Serpico” and “The Valachi Papers,” died Aug. 23 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City of an undisclosed cause. He was 72.

During his prolific 50-year career, Maas detailed the life of incorruptible NYC policeman Frank Serpico. That book became the movie “Serpico” and won Al Pacino an Oscar nom for his portrayal of the man; book also spawned a short-lived TV series. Mass split the screen rights on the book with Serpico.

His 1969 book “The Valachi Papers,” about mobster Joe Valachi and his decision to become a federal informant, was an international best seller and hit movie.

Maas also collaborated with Gambino family underboss Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, whose testimony landed mobster John Gotti behind bars for life. The “Underboss” book became a New York Times No. 1 bestseller.

Maas’ other books includes “The King of Gypsies,” “Made in America” and “Marie: A True Story,” which became a movie with Sissy Spacek.

“The Terrible Hours,” his account of the first successful submarine rescue, was a Times best seller last year.

In all, Maas wrote more than a dozen novels and nonfiction books as well as numerous investigative pieces.

The native New Yorker began writing while attending Duke U. He moved on to the New York Herald Tribune in Paris before joining Collier’s in 1955. While at Look magazine, he drew national attention for his story of a Louisiana black man who had been on Death Row longer than any other prisoner in the United States. His work also appeared in New York magazine and the Saturday Evening Post.

Maas is survived by his third wife, Suzanne Maas, and two sons.

More Scene

  • Kevin Durant Lindsey Vonn

    Kevin Durant, Lindsey Vonn to Keynote Variety's Sports & Entertainment Breakfast

    Bestselling author Peter Maas, whose books on crime became such films as “Serpico” and “The Valachi Papers,” died Aug. 23 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City of an undisclosed cause. He was 72. During his prolific 50-year career, Maas detailed the life of incorruptible NYC policeman Frank Serpico. That book became the movie […]

  • Cher and Meryl Streep'Mamma Mia! Here

    How the Cast of 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Geeked Out Around Cher

    Bestselling author Peter Maas, whose books on crime became such films as “Serpico” and “The Valachi Papers,” died Aug. 23 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City of an undisclosed cause. He was 72. During his prolific 50-year career, Maas detailed the life of incorruptible NYC policeman Frank Serpico. That book became the movie […]

  • Demi MooreComedy Central's Roast of Bruce

    Demi Moore Appears as Surprise Guest at Bruce Willis' Comedy Central Roast

    Bestselling author Peter Maas, whose books on crime became such films as “Serpico” and “The Valachi Papers,” died Aug. 23 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City of an undisclosed cause. He was 72. During his prolific 50-year career, Maas detailed the life of incorruptible NYC policeman Frank Serpico. That book became the movie […]

  • Outfest Filmmakers Get Political, Issue Call

    Outfest Filmmakers Get Political, Issue Call to Action on Opening Night

    Bestselling author Peter Maas, whose books on crime became such films as “Serpico” and “The Valachi Papers,” died Aug. 23 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City of an undisclosed cause. He was 72. During his prolific 50-year career, Maas detailed the life of incorruptible NYC policeman Frank Serpico. That book became the movie […]

  • Bob Woodruff Foundation Acquires Veterans Org

    Bob Woodruff Foundation Acquires Veterans Org Got Your 6

    Bestselling author Peter Maas, whose books on crime became such films as “Serpico” and “The Valachi Papers,” died Aug. 23 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City of an undisclosed cause. He was 72. During his prolific 50-year career, Maas detailed the life of incorruptible NYC policeman Frank Serpico. That book became the movie […]

  • Vince Gilligan Carolyn Strauss Paley Center

    'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan Suggests 'Maybe It's Time for Heroes Again' on TV

    Bestselling author Peter Maas, whose books on crime became such films as “Serpico” and “The Valachi Papers,” died Aug. 23 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City of an undisclosed cause. He was 72. During his prolific 50-year career, Maas detailed the life of incorruptible NYC policeman Frank Serpico. That book became the movie […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content