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Brian Garfield, Author of ‘Death Wish,’ Dies at 79

Brian Garfield, an author best known for his novel “Death Wish” which spawned a popular movie franchise of the same name, died Dec. 29 at his home in Pasadena, Variety has confirmed. He was 79.

After his birth to parents Frances O’Brien and George Garfield, Garfield grew up in Arizona where he wrote his first novel “Range Justice” at the age of 18.

Soon after, he began writing prolifically, producing more than 70 books and printing more than 20 million copies world wide. His most popular work, “Death Wish,” also led to the creation of one of Hollywood’s longest-running film franchises starring Charles Bronson as well as a 2018 reboot with Bruce Willis.

After seeing the film, Garfield was famously disappointed, prompting the author to write a sequel to the novel in 1975 titled “Death Sequence.” Like its predecessor, the novel was adapted into a film in 2007 by director James Wan and actor Kevin Bacon.

Garfield’s other forays into the film industry include a screenplay adaptation of his 1975 Edgar Award winning novel “Hopscotch,” which starred Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson and Sam Waterston and an adaptation of his novel “Gun Down,” which served as the foundation for the 1976 film “The Last Hard Men.”

Garfield also briefly entered the music world in the 1950s with the jazz-rock-fusion group the Palisades. Together, the group produced a top 40 hit single titled “I Can’t Quit,” before Garfield entered the U.S. Army and Army Reserves in 1957.

Other accomplishments for the author include a finalist position for his 1969 nonfiction novel “The Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians” and a stint as president of the Western Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.

He is survived by his wife Bina. Donations may be made to the Wildlife Waystation, Sylmar, Calif.

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