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William Diehl (December 4, 1924 – November 24, 2006) was an American novelist and photojournalist.
At 50, Diehl was a successful photographer and journalist, when he began his writing career. His first novel, Sharky's Machine and the 1981 film of the same name is directed and starred Burt Reynolds. Diehl saw it shot on location in and around his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Its cast included Vittorio Gassman, Brian Keith, Charles Durning, Earl Holliman, Rachel Ward, Bernie Casey, Henry Silva and Richard Libertini. It was the most successful box-office release of a film directed by Reynolds.
Diehl relocated to St. Simons Island, Georgia in the early 1980s where he lived for the next 15 years before returning to Atlanta. While living on St. Simons, he completed eight more novels, such as Primal Fear, with the 1996 film adaptation.
Diehl died of an aortic aneurism at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on November 24, 2006, while working on his tenth novel. He was survived by five children from his first marriage (Cathy, Bill, Stan, Melissa, and Temple) from whom he was estranged.