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Joseph WambaughJoseph Wambaugh Joseph Aloysius Wambaugh, Jr. ( Jan 22, 1937 ) transformed the sub-genre of the police novel into serious writing that was both harrowing and humorous, comic and tragic. His first four books and his work on the Police Story television series in the 1970s, set new standards for subsequent writers, and many acknowledge their debt to him.

The son of a policeman, Wambaugh was an only child, born and raised in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a Roman Catholic tradition. Three of his grandparents were Irish immigrants and the fourth was a German-American whose ancestral name, Wambach, was probably altered at Ellis Island. At the age of fourteen he and his parents traveled to California to bury a relative and they decided to stay. At the age of seventeen he graduated from Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, and joined the U.S.Marine Corps for three years. While a Marine he married his high school sweetheart, Dee Allsup, and when off-duty began taking college classes. After his discharge he worked at Kaiser Steel Mill in Fontana, California, and continued his studies as a part-time student at Chaffey College while Dee worked as a telephone operator. He later became a full-time student at California State University, Los Angeles, subsidized by the G.I. Bill. He majored in English, and earned his B.A. degree just before his 23rd birthday, intending to become an English teacher.

He happened to learn that LAPD cops were making more money than teachers, with better benefits and a more exciting job. "Almost on impulse" he took the tests and joined the Los Angeles Police Department on May 2nd 1960. During his first eight years as a cop he worked many assignments in various police divisions, and returned during his off-duty hours to his alma mater where he studied English and Spanish. He received his M.A. degree in 1968 while working as a detective sergeant at Hollenbeck Station in the barrio of Los Angeles where he found plenty of opportunity to use his Spanish. He began to "moonlight," writing about life on the city streets. Nobody other than Dee knew that he was a "closet scribbler," but by late 1970 everyone would know.

Wambaugh and his wife raised three children and he stayed a cop through three best sellers, but eventually his growing fame made police work impossible for him and his colleagues. People would call the station with bogus crimes and ask for Sgt. Wambaugh to solve them. Suspects he arrested asked for acting roles in film adaptations. When, after multiple appearances on virtually every TV talk show, his longtime detective partner actually opened the car door for him he knew it was time to go. With regret he resigned from the LAPD in 1974 after fourteen years of service, but the scribbling never stopped.

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His website: www.josephwambaugh.net
Similar authors: Jeffery Deaver, Sara Paretsky, Robert B. Parker, Donald Westlake
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Hollywood Crows
Signed First Edition

Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh

Hollywood Hills
Signed First Edition

Hollywood Hills by Joseph Wambaugh

Hollywood Station
Signed First Edition

Joseph Wambaugh Hollywood Station

Floaters
Signed First Edition

Floaters by Joseph Wambaugh

Finnegan's Week
Signed First Edition

Finnegan's Week by Joseph Wambaugh

The Blooding
Signed First Edition

The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh
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Finnegan's Week | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Finnegan's Week | Signed First Edition Copy

1993 NY: Morrow  First edition, first printing, fine in a fine dust jacket, signed by the author.

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VJ Books Price $19.99
Finnegan's Week | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Finnegan's Week | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  1993 NY: Morrow  First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.   Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

Usually Ships in 24 to 72 Hours
VJ Books Price $39.99
Fire Lover | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Fire Lover | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book. April 2002 NY: HarperCollins First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.  Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

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VJ Books Price $36.99
Floaters | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Floaters | Signed First Edition Copy

1996 NY: Bantam  First edition, first printing, new/unread in flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.

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VJ Books Price $24.99
Floaters | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Floaters | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  1996 NY: Bantam  First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.   Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

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VJ Books Price $39.99
Fugitive Nights | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Fugitive Nights | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  1992 NY: Morrow  First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.   Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

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VJ Books Price $39.99
Golden Orange, The | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Golden Orange, The | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book. May 1990 NY: HarperCollins First edition, first printing, fine in a fine dust jacket, signed by the author.  Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

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VJ Books Price $26.99
Golden Orange, The | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Golden Orange, The | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book. May 1990 NY: HarperCollins First edition, first printing, fine in a near-fine (price clipped) dust jacket, signed by the author.  Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

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VJ Books Price $19.99
Hollywood Crows | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed Advance Reading Copy Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Crows | Signed Advance Reading Copy Book

Author Signed Advance Reading Copy.  May 2008 NY: Little, Brown & Co. First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in flawless pictorial wrappers, signed by the author.

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Hollywood Crows | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Crows | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  May 2008 NY: Little, Brown & Co. First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.   Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

Usually Ships in 24 to 72 Hours
VJ Books Price $39.99
Hollywood Crows | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Crows | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  May 2008 NY: Little, Brown & Co.  First edition, first printing, fine in a fine dust jacket, signed by the author, remainder marked. Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.  cover.

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Hollywood Hills | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Hills | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book. November 2010 NY: Little, Brown & Company First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.  Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

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VJ Books Price $39.99
Hollywood Moon | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed Book - Advance Reading Copy Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Moon | Signed Book - Advance Reading Copy

Author Signed ARC.  November 2009 NY: Little, Brown & Co. Advance reading copy, mint, new/unread in flawless pictorial wrappers, signed by the author.

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Hollywood Moon | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Moon | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  November 2009 NY: Little, Brown & Co.  First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.   Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

Usually Ships in 24 to 72 Hours
VJ Books Price $39.99
Hollywood Station by Joseph Wambaugh | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Station | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  2006 NY: Little, Brown and Co.First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.   Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

Usually Ships in 24 to 72 Hours
VJ Books Price $39.99
Hollywood Station | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Station | Signed First Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  2006 NY: Little, Brown and Co.First edition, first printing, fine in a fine dust jacket, signed by the author, remainder marked.   Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

Usually Ships in 24 to 72 Hours
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Hollywood Station | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First UK Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Hollywood Station | Signed First UK Edition Copy

Author Signed Hardcover Book.  2006 LON: Quercus  First UK edition, later printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.   Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.

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VJ Books Price $15.99
Secrets of Harry Bright, The | Wambaugh, Joseph | Signed First Edition Book Wambaugh, Joseph | Secrets of Harry Bright, The | Signed First Edition Copy

1985 NY: Morrow  First edition, first printing, fine in a fine dust jacket, signed by the author.

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VJ Books Price $36.99
   
 

Joseph Wambaugh Bibliography


Hollywood Series
  1. Hollywood Station (2006)
  2. Hollywood Crows (2008)
  3. Hollywood Moon (2009)
  4. Hollywood Hills (2010)

Other Novels
  • The New Centurions (1971)
  • The Blue Knight (1972)
  • The Choirboys (1975)
  • The Black Marble (1978)
  • The Glitter Dome (1981)
  • The Delta Star (1983)
  • The Secrets of Harry Bright (1985)
  • The Golden Orange (1990)
  • Fugitive Nights (1992)
  • Finnegan's Week (1993)
  • Floaters (1996)
  • Harbor Nocturne (2012)

Omnibus
  • A Joseph Wambaugh Omnibus (2008)

Non-Fiction
  • The Onion Field (1973)
  • Lines and Shadows (1984)
  • Echoes in the Darkness (1987)
  • The Blooding (1989)
  • Fire Lover (2002)

Joseph Wambaugh Awards

  • Edgar Allan Poe, Special Award for Nonfiction, The Onion Field, 1974
  • Edgar Allan Poe for Best Screenplay, The Black Marble, 1981
  • Rodolfo Walsh Prize, Investigative Journalism, Lines & Shadows, International Assoc. of Crime Writers, 1989
  • Edgar Allan Poe, Best Fact Crime, Fire Lover, 2002
  • Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, 2004
  • Strand Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012

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