Mary Higgins Clark died at age 92 on January 31, 2020. Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, announced that she died in Naples, Florida, of natural causes. “Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did,” her longtime editor Michael Korda said in a statement. “She understood them as if they were members of her own family. She was always absolutely sure of what they wanted to read — and, perhaps more important, what they didn’t want to read — and yet she managed to surprise them with every book.”
A widow with five children in her late 30s, she became a perennial best-seller over the second half of her life, writing or co-writing “A Stranger Is Watching,” “Daddy’s Little Girl” and more than 50 other favourites. Sales topped 100 million copies and honours came from all over, whether a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in France or a “Grand Master” statuette back home from the Mystery Writers of America.
Throughout the 1950s and into the ’60s, she raised the children, studied writing at New York University and began getting stories published. Some drew upon her experiences at Pan American. One story which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, “Beauty Contest at Buckingham Palace,” imagined a pageant featuring Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco.