Benjamin Appel is of that rare species, a native New Yorker. Born in 1907, he was raised in the tough, Hell’s-kitchen district of the West 50’s. Like any other kid in a tough city neighborhood, he had to fight for his self-respect as a human being. At De Witt Clinton high school he was a football, crew, and track star. After graduation, he entered the University of Pennsylvania but later transferred to New York University and then Lafayette. He took a post-graduate course at Columbia. While at Lafayette, he published his first book, a volume of verse. Since then he has written five books and has had more than one hundred short stories published. His books are a study of American crime and lawlessness, beginning with small-time holdups, going on to crime as an organized monopoly, emphasizing it in prostitution, labor racketeering, and finally, crime organized into native fascism. He has held a variety of jobs - bank clerk, factory hand, farm hand, lumberjack, tenement house inspector, professional fisherman. Until recently, when he was called to Washington, D.C. to take a position with the OCD, he was employed as a workman in the plant of the Republic Aviation Corporation on Long Island. He is married and has one daughter.
His best-known books are Brain Guy, People Talk, Run Around, and Power House. (1943)