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Robin Moore
Born (1925-10-31)October 31, 1925
Boston, Massachusetts
Died February 21, 2008(2008-02-21) (aged 82)
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard College (1949)
Occupation Author

Robert Lowell "Robin" Moore, Jr. (October 31, 1925 – February 21, 2008) was an American writer who is most known for his books The Green Berets, The French Connection: A True Account of Cops, Narcotics, and International Conspiracy and, with Xaviera Hollander and Yvonne Dunleavy, The Happy Hooker: My Own Story.

Moore also co-authored the lyrics for the "Ballad of the Green Berets", which was one of the major hit songs of 1966. The song was also featured in the 1968 film The Green Berets based on Moore's book which starred John Wayne. A new edition of The Green Berets was published in April 2007 and his last book, Wars of the Green Berets, co-authored with Col. Mike 'Doc' Lennon, was released in June 2007.

At the time of his death, Moore was residing in Hopkinsville, Kentucky (home to Fort Campbell and the 5th Special Forces Group) where he was working on his memoirs as well as three other books.

Early life and career

Born in Boston, Moore was raised in Concord, Massachusetts, where he attended Middlesex School. He also attended Belmont Hill School. During World War II he served as a nose gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps, flying combat missions in the European Theater. For his outstanding service, he was awarded the Air Medal. Moore graduated from Harvard College in 1949, and one of his first jobs was working in television production and then at the Sheraton Hotel Company co-founded by his father, Robert Lowell Moore. While working in the hotel business in the Caribbean, he recorded the early days of Fidel Castro in the non-fiction book The Devil To Pay.

Training with Special Forces

File:The Green Berets book cover.jpg

Cover for the 2007 reprint of The Green Berets

Thanks to connections with Harvard classmate Robert F. Kennedy, Moore was allowed access to the U.S. Army Special Forces to write about this elite unit of the United States Army. It was General William P. Yarborough who insisted that Moore go through special forces training in order to better understand "what makes Special Forces soldiers 'special'." He trained for nearly a year, first at "jump school" for airborne training before completing the Special Forces Qualification Course or "Q Course", becoming the first civilian to participate in such an intensive program. Afterward, Moore was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group on deployment to Vietnam. His experiences in-country formed the basis for The Green Berets, a bestseller that helped secure him international acclaim (see United States Army Special Forces in popular culture).

Later writings

During the 1970s and 1980s Moore travelled widely spending time in such places as Dubai, Iran, Rhodesia and Russia. Having gathered the information needed he wrote The Crippled Eagles (later published as The White Tribe) and The Moscow Connection. Due to political controversy, The Crippled Eagles was rejected by publishers and did not appear until the early 1990s. (Rumor has it that the printing was quietly but firmly discouraged by U.S. State Department).[citation needed] He also wrote non-fiction books Rhodesia and Major Mike (with U.S. Army Major Mike Williams).

Moore travelled to Uzbekistan in December 2001 to research the CIA-Northern Alliance war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, publishing the account in the bestseller The Hunt for Bin Laden.

In 2003, continuing his interest in writing about the war on terror, Moore traveled to Iraq to research Operation Iraqi Freedom and the downfall of the Saddam Hussein regime for his book, Hunting Down Saddam. He recently completed The Singleton: Target Cuba with Ret. USASF Major General Geoffrey Lambert, a novel about Fidel Castro and biological warfare.

Afghanistan and book controversy

Shortly after the publication of The Hunt for Bin Laden, controversy arose over the veracity of the book, particularly regarding the involvement of Jack Idema. Idema, who was one of Moore's major sources, provided what later proved to be fabricated accounts of his exploits. In order to portray himself as having a greater role in the operation, Idema apparently went as far as to rewrite much of Moore's and Chris Thompson's text prior to publication under the direct authorization of Random House editor Bob Loomis. Special Forces soldiers who were on the mission (including those whom Moore interviewed) disputed Idema's claims.[1] With Idema thus discredited, Moore eventually disavowed The Hunt for Bin Laden and the book remains out of print.[2] Despite the unfortunate fate of the book, Moore continued to enjoy the respect of the Special Forces community.[3]

Other works

  • Creator of the comic strip Tales of the Green Beret and the book The Man with the Silver Oar
  • Co-screenwriter for the film Inchon about the Inchon landing during the Korean War.[4]
  • Co-founder, "The Crippled Eagles" club in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) for expatriate Americans serving with the Rhodesian Security Forces.


In recognition of his achievement in writing about the Special Forces, Moore was granted "Freedom of the City" by Hopkinsville Mayor Richard Liebe.[citation needed]

At the 2007 5th Special Forces Group reunion banquet Col. Chris Conner confirmed Moore as a lifelong member of 5th SFG. At the same banquet Moore was made a Kentucky colonel.


Robin Moore died in Hopkinsville, Kentucky on February 21, 2008 after a long illness. Eulogies were given by Rudi Gresham, General Victor Hugo, Major General Thomas R. Csrnko, Alexander N. Rossolimo and Moore's brother John. A Presidential citation was presented to Helen Moore by General Hugo. Full military honors were rendered immediately after the service.[5]

Major General Gary L. Harrell, deputy commanding general of the United States Special Operations Command, issued this statement in praise of Moore:

All Special Forces Soldiers, past and present, mourn the passing of Robin Moore; he was a valued and trusted member of the Special Operations family. Robin was a devoted advocate and a true Ambassador for the "Green Beret" and all they stand for.

His writings on Special Forces are textbooks for our modern Unconventional Warriors; they were both educational and inspirational and introduced the world to the "Green Berets." He will be missed.[6]


  • Hunting Down Saddam - The inside story of the search and capture (ISBN 0-312-32916-4)
  • The Devil To Pay (ISBN 1-879915-02-2)
  • The Green Berets (ISBN 0-312-98492-8)
  • The French Connection: A True Account of Cops, Narcotics, and International Conspiracy (ISBN 1-59228-044-7)
  • The Happy Hooker: My Own Story (with Xaviera Hollander) (ISBN 0-06-001416-4)
  • Mafia Wife (with Barbara Fuca) (ISBN 0-02-586180-8)
  • Search and Destroy (ISBN 0-89516-048-X)
  • Pitchman (1966)
  • The Country Team (1970)
  • The Khaki Mafia (1971) (with June Collins)
  • Court Martial (1972) (with Henry Rothblatt)
  • The Fifth Estate (1973)
  • Adventures of a Treasure Hunter (1973) (with Howard Jennings)
  • The Family Man (1974) (with Milt Machlin)
  • The London Switch (1974) (with Al Dempsey)
  • The Italian Connection (1975) (with Al Dempsey)
  • The Set Up: The Shocking Aftermath To The French Connection (1975) (with Milt Machlin)
  • Hotel Tomayne (1976)
  • The Season (1976) (with Patricia Hornung)
  • Dubai (1976)
  • The Pearl Harbor Cover-Up (1976) (with Frank Schuler)
  • The Terminal Connection (1976)
  • The Kaufman Snatch (1976)
  • Valency Girl (1976) (with Susan Deitz)
  • Phase of Darkness (1976) (with Al Dempsey)
  • The Establishment (1976) (with Harold Shumate)
  • The Death Disciple (1977) (with Gerald G Griffin)
  • Our Missile's Missing (1977) (with Stan Gebler Davies)
  • Combat Pay (1977)
  • The Washington Connection (1977)
  • Rhodesia (1977) (ISBN 0-89516-005-6)
  • The Big Paddle (1978)
  • The Black Sea Caper (1978) (with Hugh McDonald)
  • Chinese Ultimatum (1978) (with Edward McGhee)
  • Caribbean Caper (1978)
  • Death Never Forgets (1978)
  • Diamond Spitfire (1978)
  • Red Falcons (1978) (with Al Dempsey)
  • The Cobra Team (1978) (with Edward E Mayer)
  • The Last Coming (1978) (with Gerald G Griffin)
  • The Treasure Hunter (1979) (with Howard Jennings)
  • The New York Connection (1979)
  • Only the Hyenas Laughed (1980) (with Neville H Romain)
  • The Gold Connection (1980) (with Julian Askin)
  • Compulsion (1981)
  • London Connection (1981) (with Al Dempsey)
  • Fast Shuffle (1981) (with Sidney Levine)
  • Black Sea Connection (1981) (with Hugh McDonald)
  • The Tales of Green Beret (1985)
  • Force Nine (1986)
  • The Man Who Made It Snow (1990) (with Richard Smitten and Max Mermelstein)
  • The White Tribe (1991) (with Barbara Fuca)
  • The Moscow Connection (1994)
  • The Sparrowhook Curse (1996)
  • Encounter on the Moon (1996)
  • Area 51 (1997)
  • Hercules: Hero of the Night Sky (1997)
  • The Accidental Pope (2000) (with Ray Flynn)
  • React : CIA Black Ops (2004) (with Chuck Lightfoot)
  • The Singleton: Target Cuba (2004) (with Jeff Lambert)


  1. Pelton, Robert Young (2006). Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror. Random House. p. 243. "Though [the Special Forces soldiers] never met or talked to Idema, and despite the fact that almost ten members had carefully detailed their actions to Moore at K2, the first chapter puts forth an account of the team's infill into Afghanistan that the men tell me has been entirely fabricated." 
  2. Blake, Mariah (2005-01). "Tin Soldier: An American Vigilante In Afghanistan, Using the Press for Profit and Glory". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  3. Ghianni, Tim (2006-09-11). "Fighting soldiers, tender brothers". The Tennessean. "We're the only ones who understand what we do," says Steve Stone, referring to "The Brotherhood" of Green Berets, whether fresh from Iraq or weathered by Vietnam, who converge here. He nods to Moore. "And that's our icon sitting right there." 
  4. "Robin Moore on". 
  5. "Robin Moore, author of "The Green Berets," dies". Kentucky New Era. February 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  6. "Robin Moore, author of "The Green Berets," dies". Fayetteville Observer. February 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-02. [dead link]

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