Morris Langlo West was born in St Kilda, Melbourne in 1916. At the age of fourteen, he entered the Christian Brothers seminary ‘as a kind of refuge’ from a difficult childhood. He attended the University of Melbourne and worked as a teacher. In 1941 he left the Christian Brothers without taking final vows. During World War II he worked as a code-breaker, and for a time he was private secretary to former prime minister Billy Hughes. After the war, West became a successful writer and producer of radio serials. In 1955 he left Australia to build an international career as a writer and lived with his family in Austria, Italy, England and the USA. He also worked for a time as the Vatican correspondent for the British newspaper, the Daily Mail. He returned to Australia in 1982. Morris West wrote 30 books and many plays, and several of his novels were adapted for film. His books were published in 28 languages and sold more than 70 million copies worldwide. Each new book he wrote after he became an established writer sold more than one million copies. West received many awards and accolades over his long writing career, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the W.H. Heinemann Award of the Royal Society of Literature for The Devil's Advocate. In 1978 he was elected a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1985, and was made an Officer of the Order (AO) in 1997. Morris West died at his desk in 1999.Read more Read less
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