Jacqueline Susann

After a breast cancer diagnosis left her determined to leave a real impact on the world, Jacqueline Susann made history as the first author to have three consecutive New York Times bestsellers, starting with her landmark 1966 novel, Valley of the Dolls. Susann began working as an actress fresh out of high school, landing a few recurring roles on TV and a brief stint on Broadway. But her best-known role was as writer and star of twice-nightly commercials for Schiffli Lace on Night Time, New York, landing the sponsorship for the show that launched Mike Wallace’s career. In 1962 she underwent a mastectomy and threw herself into writing, publishing her first book, Every Night Josephine! in 1963. She followed this with Valley of the Dolls in 1966, The Love Machine in 1969, and Once Is Not Enough in 1973. She not only set a record for bestsellers, she helped transform the market for book promotion through her savvy use of television and print advertising, and her impact continues to be felt long after her death.


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Jacqueline Susann.
Courtesy of Barbara Seaman.
Date of Birth

Philadelphia, PA
United States

Date of Death
Actress, Writer

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jacqueline Susann." (Viewed on August 8, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/susann-jacqueline>.


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