Stuart Woods, the prolific bestselling author of more than 90 novels, many featuring the character of lawyer-investigator Stone Barrington, died in his sleep on Friday, July 22, 2022, at his home in Litchfield County, Connecticut. He was 84 years old. His death was confirmed by his wife, Jeanmarie Woods, who did not specify a cause
A Life of Adventure and Writing
Woods was born on January 9, 1938, in Manchester, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1959 with a degree in sociology. After serving in the Air National Guard, he moved to New York City and worked in advertising. In the late 1960s, he moved to London and then to Ireland, where he discovered his passion for sailing
His first book, published in 1977, was a non-fiction account of his participation in the Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR), a solo sailing competition that began in England and ended in Rhode Island. The book, titled “Blue Water, Green Skipper”, was well received by critics and readers alike
Woods then turned to fiction writing, inspired by an old family story that had been told to him as a child. His first novel, “Chiefs”, was published in 1981 and won literary awards. It was also adapted into a CBS miniseries starring Charlton Heston, Danny Glover, Billy Dee Williams and John Goodman. The novel was the first in a series of books set in the fictional town of Delano, Georgia
Woods went on to write dozens of novels in various genres, including thriller, mystery, historical fiction and romance. He was best known for his series featuring Stone Barrington, a former NYPD detective turned lawyer who gets involved in various cases and adventures around the world. The series began in 1991 with “New York Dead” and continued until Woods’ death, with the 62nd book, “Black Dog”, scheduled to be released on August 2, 2022
Woods also wrote several other series featuring recurring characters such as Holly Barker, Will Lee, Ed Eagle and Teddy Fay. He received numerous accolades for his work, including the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France’s most prestigious award for crime and detective fiction, in 2010 for his novel “Imperfect Strangers”
Woods was known for his fast-paced and entertaining writing style, as well as his prolific output. He wrote five books a year for his publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons and had a loyal fan base that eagerly awaited his new releases. He also wrote a memoir titled “An Extravagant Life”, which was published in June 2022 and chronicled his personal and professional journey
A Legacy of Stories and Fans
Woods’ death has saddened many of his fans and fellow writers who have expressed their condolences and appreciation for his work on social media and other platforms. Many have praised him for his storytelling skills, his humor and his generosity.
Woods is survived by his wife Jeanmarie Cooper Woods, whom he married in 2013. He also had homes in New York, Florida and Maine. He was an avid pilot who flew his own private jet on his book tours. He also enjoyed boating, reading and watching old movies
Woods leaves behind a legacy of stories that have entertained millions of readers around the world for over four decades. His novels have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. He has also inspired many aspiring writers to pursue their dreams of becoming authors.
Stuart Woods will be remembered as one of the most successful and beloved thriller writers of all time.