Sam Greenlee
Name: Sam Greenlee
Occupation: Novelist
Gender: Male
Birth Day: July 13, 1930
Death Date: May 19, 2014 (age 83)
Age: Aged 83
Country: United States
Zodiac Sign: Cancer

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Sam Greenlee

Sam Greenlee was born on July 13, 1930 in United States (83 years old). Sam Greenlee is a Novelist, zodiac sign: Cancer. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.


He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his bravery in Iraq.

Net Worth 2020

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Does Sam Greenlee Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Sam Greenlee died on May 19, 2014 (age 83).


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Before Fame

After attending the University of Wisconsin and the University of Chicago, he joined the military. He served in the army from 1952 until 1954.


Biography Timeline


Sam Greenlee was born in St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago, Illinois to an African-American family. His parents were singer and dancer Desoree Alexander and railroad man and union activist Samuel Greenlee. He grew up in west Woodlawn. He attended Englewood High School, and in 1948 won a track scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1952 with a BS degree in political science. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity (Beta Omicron 1950). He served in the United States Army from 1952 to 1954, earning the rank of first lieutenant, and from 1954 to 1957 did graduate studies in international relations at the University of Chicago.


In 1957 Greenlee began a career with the United States Information Agency, and, as one of first black officials to work overseas, served in Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Greece between 1957 and 1965. In 1958 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for bravery during the 14 July Revolution in Baghdad.


It was while living on Mykonos that Greenlee began to write his first and best known novel, entitled The Spook Who Sat by the Door, which was the story of a black man who is recruited as a CIA officer and having mastered the skills of a spy then uses them to lead a black guerrilla movement in the US. Rejected by many mainstream publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, the novel was eventually published in London in March 1969 by Allison and Busby.


Greenlee lived in Ghana and Spain for some years, before returning to Chicago in the late 1980s. In 1990 he was named the Poet Laureate of Illinois. He taught screenwriting at Columbia College Chicago and hosted a talk show on WVON radio. He also worked on an autobiography that was to be called Sam's Blues: Adventures of a Travelling Man.


Greenlee later co-wrote (with Mel Clay) the screenplay for what became the 1973 film The Spook Who Sat by the Door that he co-produced with director Ivan Dixon, and which is considered "one of the more memorable and impassioned films that came out around the beginning of the notoriously polarizing blaxploitation era." In 2011, an independent documentary entitled Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door was filmed by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward, about the making and reception of the Spook film, in which Greenlee spoke out about the suppression of the film soon after its release. In a chance meeting with Aubrey Lewis (1935–2001), one of the first Black FBI agents to have been recruited in 1962 by the FBI, Greenlee was told that The Spook Who Sat by the Door was required reading at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.


On May 19, 2014, Greenlee died in Chicago at the age of 83. On June 6, 2014, Chicago's DuSable Museum of African American History sponsored an evening of celebration in his honor, attended by his daughter Natiki Montano.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Sam Greenlee is 92 years, 2 months and 13 days old. Sam Greenlee will celebrate 93rd birthday on a Thursday 13th of July 2023.

Find out about Sam Greenlee birthday activities in timeline view here.

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