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John D. MacDonald

Famous novelist, Adirondack resident

Continuing to bang the drum for a better representation of famous Adirondackers at the state's Adirondacks Walk of Fame — part of the Adirondack Welcome Center in Queensbury — I'm going to advocate for the inclusion of John D. MacDonald, a great, popular writer of thrillers and mystery/crime novels.

MacDonald wrote scores of stories and novels, sold about 70 million books, and as the creator of the Travis McGee character, became one of the most celebrated and entertaining writers in the world. MacDonald has a strong connection to the Adirondacks — he grew up in Utica but had a summer house on Piseco Lake in Hamilton County, where he would go with his wife and spend long, quiet days, relaxing and writing. He also set parts of some of his novels in the Adirondacks, so his connection was not just through a part-time residence but to the career that made him famous.

I've already written about the tenuous connection of some of the existing Walk of Fame names to the Adirondacks, and several very deserving people who should not have been left out. MacDonald has a strong claim because of the international renown of his books and because he actually worked on them at his house in Hamilton County.

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Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at



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