Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney (née Higgins; born December 24, 1927), known professionally as Mary Higgins Clark, is an American author of suspense novels. Each of her 51 books has been a bestseller in the United States and various European countries, and all of her novels remained in print as of:2015, with her debut suspense novel, Where Are the Children, in its seventy-fifth printing. Higgins Clark began writing at an early age. After several years working as a secretary and copy editor, she spent a year as a stewardess for Pan-American Airlines before leaving her job to marry and start a family. She supplemented the family's income by writing short stories. After her husband died in 1964, Higgins Clark worked for many years writing four-minute radio scripts until her agent persuaded her to try writing novels. Her debut novel, a fictionalized account of the life of George Washington, did not sell well, and she decided to exploit her love of mystery/suspense novels. Her suspense novels became very popular, and as of:2007 her books had sold more than 80 million copies in the United States alone. Her daughter Carol Higgins Clark and former daughter-in-law Mary Jane Clark, are also writers.