William Wright, American author, Died at 85

William Connor Wright Jr. was born on October 22, 1930, and died on June 4, 2016.

He was an American author, editor, and playwright.

Wright was best known for his nonfiction writing, which covered a wildly divergent list of subjects: from the April in Paris Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria to genetics and behavior to true crime and grand opera.

Said to be a he great Harvard naturalist and author, E. O. Wilson, said of Wright’s Born that Way, Genes, Behavior, Personality: “It takes an independent writer and free spirit to tell the story straight, and thank God Wright has done it.”

Also to Lillian Hellman, the Image and the Woman, Wright’s books include The Von Bulow Affair, and two books with and about Luciano Pavarotti: Pavarotti, My Own Story and Pavarotti, My World.

Following his Army service, William was an editor at Holiday magazine when it was located in Philadelphia and published the likes of John Steinbeck, V.S. Pritchett and Lawrence Durrell.

When Holiday became a casualty of the Curtis Publishing Company’s disintegration, William Wright accepted a bizarre offer from composer Gian Carlo Menotti to become manager of Menotti’s Spoleto Festival, then held only in Italy.

His job was to oversee the production of some ten events put on by the festival’s U.S. side.

All of his events proved successful, but the overall festival was a financial disaster.

Upset, Wright resigned.

Following his struggle for five years writing magazine articles, Wright accepted an offer to become the editor of Chicago magazine, which he did from 1969 to 1971.

Even though the magazine was well received by both Chicagoans and advertisers, his tenure was cut short when the magazine was closed down for making jibes at the elder Mayor Richard Daley.

And Although offered editorial positions at three other publications, Wright turned to writing full-time and continued to do so until a few years before his death, mostly authoring non-fiction books.

William Wright passed away at 85 yrs old.