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Die Hard author Walter Wager

Walter Herman Wager (September 4, 1924 - July 11, 2004) was an American novelist, best known as an author of mystery and spy fiction genres. His work on the 1987 novel 58 Minutes was used as a basis of Die Hard 2.


Wager grew up in the East Tremont section of The Bronx, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants; his father, Max, was a doctor, and his mother, Jessie, was a nurse. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, he received a master's degree in aviation law from Northwestern University in 1949.

His most famous work would forever remian 58 Minutes, mostly due in part to its film adaptation, although two of his other novels became major motion pictures in 1977: Viper Three (1972), which was released as Twilight's Last Gleaming, and Telefon (1975). Wager wrote a number of original novels in the 1960s under the pseundonym "John Tiger" that were based on the TV series I Spy and Mission: Impossible.

Prior to making his reputation as a novelist, Wager was a Fulbright Fellow at the Sorbonne in Paris and diplomatic adviser to Israel's Director of Civil Aviation. He was also a writer and producer for CBS Radio, CBS television, and NBC television and was editor-in-chief of Playbill from 1963 to 1966. In addition, Wager worked in public relations for ASCAP, the University of Bridgeport, and the Julliard School.

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