November 28, 2004 by

Arthur Hailey


Categories: Hollywood, Military, Writers/Editors

ahailey.jpgArthur Hailey, a bestselling author and screenwriter, died on Nov. 24 of a stroke. He was 84.
Born in Luton, England, Hailey began writing poetry and short stories as a child. He learned to type and take shorthand, but dropped out of school in his teens when his family was unable to afford a college education.
Hailey served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II, then immigrated to Canada, where he hoped to become a professional writer. Breaking into fiction proved difficult, however, and he worked for several years as a real estate agent, an advertising executive, an editor and a sales promotion manager.
In his spare time, Hailey wrote fast-paced stories and television scripts featuring detectives and doctors, heroes and womanizers. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced his first screenplay “Flight Into Danger” about a planeload of people surviving a harrowing flight. The TV production sold well overseas and its proceeds allowed Hailey to write full-time. He started each day at 6 a.m., and didn’t stop working until he’d typed 600 words.
Hailey’s first novel, “The Final Diagnosis,” was published in 1959. His next 10 books received lukewarm reviews from critics, but were hits with the public. Today, more than 170 million copies are still in print.
Although several of his books (“Hotel,” “Wheels,” “The Moneychangers” and “Strong Medicine”) were made into TV shows and films, Hailey was best known for writing “Airport,” which stayed on The New York Times bestseller list for 65 weeks. “Airport” was adapted to the big screen in 1970 and helped launch the disaster movie genre. Hailey didn’t write its three sequels, but he received more than $100,000 for each of them. He also sold the feature film rights to “Flight Into Danger”; it eventually inspired the humorous 1980 spoof, “Airplane!”
After making millions as a writer, Hailey moved to the Bahamas in 1969 to live in tax exile. He retired from publishing in 1997 and spent his final years enjoying a life of leisure.

35 Responses to Arthur Hailey

  1. sean maponga

    …i would like to pass my condolences to the Hailey family.
    I really enjoyed Arthur’s type of writing , it was brilliant…especially the Novel Detective …
    ..Rest In Peace Arthur …


    I would like to send my condolenses to the Hailey family. Although I never knew him my Grandad (Mr James “JIMMY” Gulliver) served with him in the War. He has fond memories and pictures with Arthur that will also be treasured.


    I am Greatly impressed by all Arthur Haileys Novels. His eye for the detail is really amazing. Being in finance sector, i learnt many banking related info in his novel ” MONEYCHANGERS”. He is a Real Perfectionist. I convey my deep regrets to his family. Though he is physically absent his novels will remain immortal.

  4. Bhushan Y Nigale

    Dear All,
    Mr. Hailey’s novels were intriguing, and commanded the maximum and un-swayable attention of the readers. Readers more often than not learnt a few things about the industry that Mr. Hailey wrote about. Also, most of Mr. Hailey’s characters were well-etched, founded in reality and held the genuine interest of the readers.
    May his soul rest in peace.
    – Bhushan.

  5. Jaroslava Ludvikova

    I` ve read all of Mr.Hailey` s novels and I can say that all of them were a masterpiece of precise, detailed work and Mr.Hailey had my deepest admiration. I wish I could thank him for his contribution to the world of literature.

  6. Dmitry

    Heiley is the the author who died alive giving us his brilliantly-written novels – peices of lifes, which are so realistic, and the heroes in Heiley books despite being common people are here with us like the spirit of Arthur Heiley (From Russian readers)

  7. anindita choudhury

    i started reading arthur hailey with his masterpiece ‘the final diagonosis’. his writings captured my heart and that was just the beginning.since then i have read and re-read all this works till date.
    i wish that this great man’s soul would rest in peace.
    miss u arthur.
    anindita choudhury

  8. Manish Sharma

    Though I have read just one novel of Hailey
    (Overload) recently, the writing touched my heart. Though I think there were certain things which were quite unrealistic and maybe a woman may hate to read it.
    But I was moved from the heart. I would like to hear from all readers who have read overload to please share with me their veiws about overload.

  9. ashwin

    my condolensces to the hailey family.a brilliant writer was “arthur sir” he is so much my senior 69 years seperate in age but his books stil; appealed to me.i read his book “wheels” and the “airport”.airport is easily the best book i have ever read.his eye for detail is unparallel.its only a tribute his books are still so sought after nearly 4 decades or so after print.
    his spirit will live on……. as his books are truly motivational
    an irreplacable loss.
    may u rest in peace “arthur sir”

  10. Jim Montgomery

    Have read all of Arthur’s novels and enjoyed every one.He gave great pleasure to many people throughout the world. Rest in peace.

  11. Felix

    Airport was an exceptional, intriguing piece of masterpiece by arthur hailey. Though that was the first book that i came across, i happened to read both the hotel as well as the detective. The level of perfectionism and professionalism employed by hailey would compel anyone to read all his books…
    Hats off to mr. hailey for his contribution…
    ull be forever remembered

  12. Joy Morrison

    To the family goes the sincerest condolences.
    God creates us with gifts to be used for the betterment of human kind. Arthur Hailey was truly gifted and contributed to the pleasure and edifiction of many, many readers. His life is certainly to be celebrated!
    I just learned that there is one book that I have not read and that is “Detectives”. It is highly acclaimed at My Christmas list is now complete!

  13. sankar

    I am a great fan of arthur, I have read just a few of his books, like final diagnosis, airport..
    The depth to which he covers different areas like the operation of the pathology dept, or the airport,
    any one could manage an airport, or a hospital wing after reading his book.
    Its not just the detail, but the style of narration, the chatacters, every aspect is just superb.
    Arthur lives on and on in the heart of millions.

  14. Walter Barnes

    A friend recommended “Airport” and after reading it I wasted no time in getting to the local used bookstore to aquire all of Mr. Haileys works. I think that the most amazing thing about his novels is that even 40 years after they were written, they still have the power to enthrall, enlighten, and entertain. As a constant reader, I have many favorite authors; Arthur Hailey ranks in the top five!

  15. Laurie of LaQuinta,CA

    I have been reading Arthur Hailey books, maybe from the beginning – Can’t remember if Airport or Hotel was the first I read. However, a few days ago I found THE EVENING NEWS in my book shelf and don’t know how I had missed reading it. as it was printed in 1990. I came to this web site hoping to contact Mr. Hailey and was saddened to see he had passed away in 2004.
    THE EVENING NEWS could have been written today. It involves a kidnapping by terrorist in Peru. It might interest readers to turn to page 327 with paragraph beginning: “You may be proved right,” Partridge told Iris…
    Regarding Media’s responsibility in reporting:
    “When reporting endangers life and liberty, news has to take second place.”
    Just what would Mr. Hailey think of the “leaks” put out by media today?

  16. reddy admal surender

    i read at first final diagnosis which was more realistic than fiction. later i read airport which i started reading and got absorbed into it till finished reading. arthur hailey left the imprints of20th century living conditions for ever in his writings. may his soul rest in peace.
    posted by reddy admal surender from hyderabad india on 29th may 2006.

  17. Arun Prasad G

    I have been reading Arthur Hailey and Detective was his first book which I read. Followed by that I read Overload (Power Crisis), In High Places (Politics) and I am reading Wheels (Auto Industry)’. I love his style of writing and I am sure I will read all Arthur Hailey’s novles. It is very sad to hear that he passed away, but I am sure, the work of this genius will stay in many hearts forever.
    May his soul rest in Peace.
    Arun Prasad, Indian.

  18. john

    Until I stumbled across your blog, I had no idea he was dead, and had been hoping for another novel. It has been so long that I cant say when I read it, but Moneychangers was my first by him. I have read everything, and will miss him greatly.

  19. swamy gundala

    I have no words to eapress my admiration of Arthur Hailey. I have read all his novels and am a great fan of him. The amount of research he does in presenting finest details of varied subjects like finance, avaiation, hospitality etc really amaze me. i offer my sicerest condolenses to the bereaved family. world has lost a great star.

  20. Lawrence M. Sloan

    I have a rare first edition hard cover copy of “Airport”. It was my hope to have it autographed….alas….too late. This book doesn’t even have an ISBN number. It’s a keeper.

  21. Leon Lipschitz

    A tragedy to the reading world
    Arthur Hailey
    I first met him in the pages of The Final Diagnosis – It took me a day to read the book – Just could not put it down – I was told that his vivid descriptions were 100% accurate
    A man of great depth who went all the way to ensure that his readers got only the best
    I am busy re reading all his books again
    Could not wait for his next book to come out
    He will be sorely missed
    Thank You Arthur for bring so much enjoyment into our lives

  22. Confesor Gonzalez

    I met Mr. Hailey when he came to Miami when he was wroking on his book “Detective” in 1996. I was priviliged to meet him and assist a little in his research for the book. After all these years I wondered how he was doing and became deeple sadned to learn that he passed away in 2004. My most sincere condolenses to his family. He truly was a great man and will for ever live in the hearts of those of us who were lucky enough to have met him.

  23. basima maisoon

    he z a very special author for me…n i love his novel -detective very much..he might ve been a very wonderful man 4 having written somethin like that.i never knew him personally..yet i bear a strong bond to him in my heart. god bless him.

  24. M.R. Babu

    I am a great fan of Sir Arthur Hailey although I have read only a few of his books. His book “The Final Diagnosis” is absolutely brilliant and arresting next only to “Airport”. The book Final Diagnosis was a masterpiece in that everyone who read it wanted to possess it because of its sheer top class professionalism in the field of medicine and truly inspirational. It is very sad that the author of such great novels is no more.

  25. karthikeyan

    Sir arthur hailey’s novels have always been a feast to the mind and heart. all his novels like hotel, final diagnosis, strong medicine ,airport ,strong medicine, overload have all been breathtaking. true loss to trhe lietarary society

  26. calum hailey

    hello my name is calum hailey and i am 17 years old from england,
    I am a relative of Arthur Hailey and my family was going to arrange to meet him in england years ago before he first became ill.
    My grandfather Albert Hailey was in contact with him back then and since my grandfather passed away shortly after i was born efforts to get in contact with my routes have ceased.
    As i never got to know my grandfather i never knew what the situation was between him and my family overseas but now i am older i would like to get in contact with them so they know that we exist.
    Rest in peace Arthur, you are greatly missed world wide by fans and family.

  27. paul hailey

    Are u really his granddaughter because i kind of doubt it because
    I know all of his grandchildren and he never talked to me about you

  28. sarah

    I just read his last book detective this year, but now I want to read all his works. Arthur’s story is so attractive, gave readers the best thing. I am so sorry for miss him.
    God bless him.


    I read ‘Final Diagnosis’,’Hotel’ and ‘Airport’ and deap Moral Values and Humanity found in his novels.
    I think he is the most poular writer in thw World.

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