Lyle Leverich, who chronicled the first 34 years of Tennessee Williams' life in the authorized 1995 biography, "Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams," died Dec. 17 in California. He was 79.
A followup to the award-winning book, "Tenn: The Timeless World of Tennessee Williams," was expected from the author. Only a third of that volume was complete at the time of Mr. Leverich's death, The New York Times reported.
"Tom" was lauded for its richness of personal, sometime unflattering, detail about the playwright Williams. The book tells of Williams' life up to the 1945 Broadway opening of "The Glass Menagerie."
The Times reported that Mr. Leverich was a former producer who later turned to writing. He met Williams when he produced the playwright's Two-Character Play in 1976. Williams died in 1983.
"Tom," which had a delayed publication because the rights holders of Williams' work would not allow unpublished manuscripts to be published, received the George Freedley Award as best theatre book of the year. Mr. Leverich's epigraph in "Tom" read: "For Tennessee, who asked me to report, in truth, his cause aright."
-- By Kenneth Jones