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Biography

Ron Argo has been a carpenter, a psych-ward aide, a photographer, a Florida Keys boat captain, an award-winning newspaper reporter, a combat correspondent in LBJ's war, a plumber, electrician, all-around jack and restorer of old houses, a would-be musician and artist who no longer play stringed instruments due to arthritis, who in his restless youth went to jail a time or two but never had to post bail, a voter in all elections--except in Vietnam where the idea at that time seemed ludicrous. He was never a bartender, bouncer or preacher. Nor did he ever hold political office, if you don't count chairing a citizen's committee appointed by a board of supervisors in part to fight corruption over animals' rights to sterilization -- for which as a reporter he won Sigma Delta Chi awards for investigative journalism and photography.


He has published one of the more important American war novels of the last century, being compared by critics to Mailer, Dos Passos, Jones and Crane.


Argo's only been married twice, so he has little pressure to pump out book after book, seralize, to pay support or alimony, at least not for a while now, like some authors have had to do. He was and is lucky. His second and remaining spouse worked and works. Mary has supported him through dry spells that have been decades long.


He is the author of the fine novels you see in this website and maybe others but thus far relatively undiscovered. Other works are in his head and perhaps going down on paper.


Argo spends quiet time in his and Mary's cabin in the mountains outside San Diego where they also have a cottage in a quaint community of San Diego.

 

 


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My partner and spouse Mary with me after hearing Simon & Schuster had made an offer for a "nice" amount on my first novel. You bet I signed.

A few weeks after publication (July 1989), Pocket Books won in a bid against other paperback publishers and the book should have been off to the races. But Vietnam, it seemed, suddenly took a downward spiral in interest among reviewers, whom I quessed just didn't have the stomach to critique another novel on the subject. It just came out too late. My interest in writing didn't go anywhere, though. But it would be over 20 years before I published again.

Fresh from the boonies in Vietnam and living in a trailer lot in Tucson, Arizona, where I took some writing and lit classes at university and did some boozing when a buddy got an impression of me. Those were liberating days...

I'm a grad student here living on the cheap in a historical house that I modeled Ray Myers' old house after in Baby Love. My M.A. thesis, cleverly clichéd The Metamorphosis of Harry Payne, eventually morphed into Year of the Monkey.

 

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My mugshot when I worked for the San Diego Union in the late '70s.