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John Ball

John Ball (1911-1988) was born in Schenectady, New York, and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A part-time police officer in Los Angeles for a time, he wrote more than thirty novels including mysteries, war novels, and adventure stories; his Virgil Tibbs series remains his best-known work. Despite considerable pressure from his editor, Ball insisted on making Tibbs a black man, garnering him praise for progressive thinking and a keen understanding of racial prejudice.