Evan Hunter (October 15, 1926 - July 6, 2005) was an American author and screenwriter. Born Salvatore Albert Lombino, he legally adopted the name Evan Hunter in 1952. While successful and well-known as Evan Hunter, he was even better known as Ed McBain, a name he used for most of his crime fiction, beginning in 1956.
Hunter was born and raised as SalvatoreLombino in New York City, living in East Harlem until the age of 12, at which point his family moved to the Bronx. He attended Olinville Junior High School, then Evander Childs High School, before winning an Art Students League scholarship. Later, he was admitted as an art student at Cooper Union. Lombino served in the Navy in World War II, writing several short stories while serving aboard a destroyerin the Pacific. However, none of these stories were published until after he had established himself as an author in the 1950s.
After the war, Lombino returned to New York and attended Hunter College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, majoring in English and Psychology, with minors in dramatics and education. He published a weekly column in the Hunter College newspaper as "S.A. Lombino". In 1981, Hunterwas inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame where he was honored for outstanding professional achievement.
While looking to start a career as a writer, Lombino took a variety of jobs, including 17 days as a teacher at Bronx Vocational High School in September 1950. This experience would later form the basis for his 1954 novel The Blackboard Jungle.
In 1951, Lombino took a job as anExecutive Editor for the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, working with authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, P.G. Wodehouse, Lester del Rey, Poul Anderson, and Richard S. Prather, among others. He made his first professional short-story sale that same year, a science-fiction tale entitled "Welcome Martians", credited to S.A. Lombino.
Hunter died of laryngeal cancer in 2005 at the age of 78 in Weston,Connecticut. He had three sons. His son Richard Hunter, is a harmonica virtuoso. Another child, Mark Hunter,  is a professor at INSEAD and the Institut français de Presse, and an award-winning investigative reporter and author. His eldest son, Ted, a painter, died in 2006.
Name change and pen names
Soon after his initial sale, Lombino sold stories under the pen names "Evan Hunter" and "HuntCollins". The name "Evan Hunter" is generally believed to have been derived from two schools he attended, Evander Childs High School and Hunter College, although the author himself would never confirm that. (He did confirm that the name "Hunt Collins" was derived from Hunter College.) Lombino legally changed his name to Evan Hunter in May 1952, after an editor told him that a novel he wrote would sellmore copies if credited to "Evan Hunter" than it would if it were credited to "S.A. Lombino". Thereafter, he used the name Evan Hunter both personally and professionally.
As Evan Hunter, he gained fame with his 1954 novel The Blackboard Jungle, which dealt with juvenile crime and the New York City public school system. In 1955, the book was made into a movie. During this era, Hunter also wrote agreat deal of genre fiction. He was advised by his agents that publishing too much fiction under the Hunter byline, or publishing any crime fiction as Evan Hunter, might weaken his literary reputation. As a consequence, during the 1950s Hunter used the pseudonyms Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, and Richard Marsten for much of his crime fiction. A prolific author in several genres, Hunter alsopublished approximately two dozen science fiction stories and four SF novels bewtween 1951 and 1956 under the names S.A. Lombino, Evan Hunter, Richard Marsten, D.A. Addams and Ted Taine.
His most famous pseudonym, Ed McBain, debuted in 1956, with Cop Hater, the first novel in the 87th Precinct crime series. NBC ran a police drama also called 87th Precinct during the 1961–1962 season based on McBain's...