NEW YORK, June 24 (UPI) -- Leon Uris, the author of "Exodus," died in his New York home on Shelter Island during the weekend at age 78.
His best-known work was perhaps "Exodus," the story of the struggle to establish and defend the state of Israel.
He also wrote, "Mila 18," "QB VII," "Trinity," "The Haj," and "Topaz" -- the latter of which was adapted into a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Uris, who dropped out of school at 17 to join the U.S. Marines, served in the South Pacific 1942-45, an experience that provided the inspiration for his debut work in 1953, "Battle Cry," a novel about a battalion of Marines during World War II, the Aspen (Colo.) Times reported.
The Marine Corps will give him a traditional memorial service in Quantico, Va. His tombstone will read "American Marine Jewish Writer."
He is survived by five children and two grandchildren.