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Jacques Morintell

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Jacques Morintell
BornJohn Ball, Jr.
July 8, 1911
Schenectady, New York
DiedOctober 15, 1988 (age 77)
Encino, California

Jacques Morintell (also performed as "Howduzi") was a semi-professional magician in the 1930s.[1]

He moved to Milwaukee as a child and after graduation from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, he joined Fortune magazine in 1937 and three years later became an assistant curator of the Hayden Planetarium.

In 1933, while living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin[2] he contributed an article called "Further Ideas" to the Sphinx in 1937.[3]

As a writer best, Ball is best known for mystery novels involving the African-American police detective Virgil Tibbs introduced in the 1965 "In the Heat of the Night" where he solves a murder in a racist Southern small town. It won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America and was made into an Oscar-winning film of the same name starring Sidney Poitier.

Ball died of colon cancer in Encino (California) Hospital. [4]


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  1. Billboard March 8, 1930
  2. Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, May , 1933
  3. Sphinx, March 1937