Don Pearce has been a machinist's helper, a merchant marine, a safecracker and a convict. Cool Hand Luke was written using his own experiences of working on a Florida chain gang. It was famously filmed in 1967 by Stuart Rosenberg, the year after its initial publication, starring Paul Newman. The screenplay, scripted by Pearce himself, was nominated for an Academy Award. He subsequently wrote three other novels, Pier Head Jump, Dying in the Sun and Nobody Comes Back. He now works as a private investigator in Florida.