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Struggling Crime Novelist Found Dead in New York Hotel

Sept. 14, 1962 - A man identified by the police as William Lindsay Gresham, the writer, was found dead today in his room at the Dixie Hotel in New York City. He had taken an overdose of sleeping pills. Mr. Gresham was best known for his novel, “Nightmare Alley,” published in 1946, the study of the life of a carnival worker. It was adapted into a film in 1947 starring Tyrone Power. Mr. Gresham, who grew up in Brooklyn, received his initial taste for carnival life at the sideshows at Coney Island. He also performed as a target for a circus knife thrower. Over the past year, Mr. Gresham’s health took a turn for the worse. He started to go blind and was diagnosed with tongue cancer. Business cards found on his person today read: “No Address. No Phone. No Business. No money. Retired.” Mr. Gresham was 53 years old.


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