Famed New York author Sol Yurick, best remembered for his 1965 novel The Warriors, died Saturday, January 5 of complications from lung cancer, according to the New York Daily News. He was 87.
Born in Manhattan in 1925, Yurick received a degree in English from New York University and later a master’s in English from Brooklyn College.
After graduation, Sol took up a job as a social investigator for the Department of Welfare, giving him a true understanding of the “streets” and its citizens, which shaped his writing.
“His work meant a tremendous amount to those who lived in the city in the 60s and 70s,” said novelist Jonathan Lethem, who grew up in Brooklyn during that time. “He had a talismanic quality. He was of the street, the place, the milieu that couldn’t be understood without a grasp of the everyday.”
Though he penned 8 books during his lifetime, Yurick is most famous for his first novel, The Warriors. The book, which was published in 1965, combined a classical Greek story, Anabasis, with a fictional account of gang wars in New York City at the time.
The cult classic was eventually turned into a movie by Walter Hill in 1979, starring Michael Beck (Xanadu) and James Remar (Dexter, Sex and the City).
After The Warriors, Mr. Yurick went on to publish several more novels, including Fertig (1966), The Bag (1968), Someone Just Like You (1972), An Island Death (1976), Richard A (1981), Behold Metatron, the Recording Angel (1985), Confession (1999).
Sol Yurick is survived by his daughter, his wife Adrienne Yurick, son-in-law, Mark Vincent and grandson, Niko Yurick Vincent.