AALBC.com LogoCopyright © 1997-2017, All Rights Reserved — https://aalbc.com — troy@aalbc.com — Tel: 347-692-2522

Sam Greenlee

Sam Greenlee photo

Samuel Greenlee (July 13, 1930 – May 19, 2014) was a writer, best known for his novel The Spook Who Sat by the Door, which was first published in London by Allison & Busby in 1969 (having been rejected by dozens of mainstream publishers), and went on to be chosen as The Sunday Times Book of the Year.

Born in Chicago, Greenlee attended the University of Wisconsin earning a BS in political science, and the University of Chicago. He served in the military, earning the rank of first lieutenant, and subsequently worked for the United States Information Agency (USIA).

He was a USIA officer from 1957 to 1965, working at embassies in Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Greece, all places teetering on the edge of political disorder, dispensing information to the local news media. The material was usually favorable to the American-backed autocracy in power and critical of its opponents, who, in those cold war years, were often viewed by American officials as Communist-backed or -inspired.

After eight years in that job, he said, he came to consider himself a “token Negro,” hired as a prop, "literally to sit by the door", to show foreigners that progress was being made in America toward racial equality. Hence the title of his book.

The novel was subsequently made into the 1973 movie of the same name, directed by Ivan Dixon and co-produced and written by Greenlee, it is considered a "cult classic"

Sam Greenlee died on May 19, 2014, of natural causes. He was 83 years old.

★ Are you the author? Let us be your primary web presence. Register your domain and link it here for free.

Tell us how much you like Sam Greenlee.

3 Books by Sam Greenlee

Vote for Your Favorite Black Author of the 21st Century
25 African Male Writers You Should ReadAfrican Men: 25 You Must Read

AALBC.com Bestselling BooksAALBC.com Bestselling Books

Printed: January 18, 2018, 5:49 pm
☆ Mission
To Celebrate Black Culture Through Literature and Literary Nonfiction to Readers of all Backgrounds and Ages; and Advocate for Independent Media

☥ About Us
Started in 1997, AALBC.com (African American Literature Book Club) is the largest, most frequently visited web site of its kind. More
Customer Service
Advertising Rates
Advertiser Login
Contact Us – FAQ
Give Us Feedback
AALBC on Pinterest AALBC on Facebook AALBC on Twitter
AALBC RSS Feed AALBC on Youtube Email AALBC