|Robert Ludlum attended private schools in Connecticut before pursuing a career as an actor in New York City as a teenager. He joined the Marines when he was 18, returning to Connecticut two years later to attend Wesleyan University, where he graduated in 1951 with a B.A. in fine arts. His acting career continued throughout the '50s, and included both stage and television roles, as well as lucrative voiceovers for companies such as Tums. In 1969 he became a full-time writer and devoted his energies to producing international thrillers often based around government conspiracies and the innocent victims they tend to swallow up. Ludlum's fans enjoy the quick pace and growing suspense that characterize his most popular novels, such as his Bourne trilogy, "The Scarlatti Inheritance," and "The Materese Circle." Having sold more than 220 million copies worldwide of his thrillers, Ludlum passed away in 2001at the age of 73.