Wager, Walter H(erman) 1924-2004

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WAGER, Walter H(erman) 1924-2004

(Walter Herman, John Tiger)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 4, 1924, in New York, NY; died of complications from brain cancer July 11, 2004, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Editor, public relations manager, and author. Wager was best known as the author of thriller novels, several of which were adapted as blockbuster films such as Die Hard 2. Originally a law student who graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in 1943, Harvard with an LL.B. in 1946, and Northwestern University with a master's degree in aviation law in 1949, Wager hopped around in various related jobs during the first years of his career. Among these positions was a job as editor for the Journal of Air Law and Commerce and international affairs and law advisor for the Lydda Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. By the early 1950s, he was working as a writer and editor. He freelanced in New York City for two years, was a senior editor for the United Nations Secretariat for another two years, and then entered broadcasting as a television and radio writer for Columbia Broadcast System, Inc., and as a writer and producer for National Broadcast Companies, Inc. A return to freelance work for five years was followed by editorships for the magazines Playbill and Show during the mid-1960s. By the late 1960s, Wager was turning to public relations. He worked in this area for the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, for which he also served as editor of ASCAP Today from 1966 to 1972 and as the society's director of public relations from 1972 to 1978. From the late 1970s through the 1990s, Wager continued to work in public relations and communications for a wide variety of organizations and institutions, including the National Music Publishers' Association, the Julliard School, the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and the University of Bridgeport. Interspersed throughout this wide variety of jobs, Wager published steadily from 1956 until 2002. He released over two dozen novels and nonfiction works, sometimes pseudonymously. Among these are Operation Intrigue (1956), Viper Three (1971), which was adapted as a movie in 1977, Telefon (1975), which was made into a film in 1977, Blue Murder (1981), 58 Minutes (1987), which was adapted as Die Hard 2 in 1990, and Kelley's People (2002).



Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2004, p. B11.

New York Times, July 14, 2004, p. A23.

Washington Post, July 17, 2004, p. B5.