The tremendous following that Ernie Pyle built up during his years as a columnist will undoubtedly expect this biography to be part and parcel of the ""crackerbox"" genre to which his beloved writings belonged. Far from it, this is a revealing portrait of the man behind the front, and of his own private hell in the tragic story of his marriage to Jerry, an alcoholic and manic depressive, and his own depths of loneliness and physical disability, Born of farmer stock, he was ill fitted for that life- small, almost frail, and bored with the farm routines. The newspaper world called him, and he went through the mill before he found his peculiar niche,- as wandering observer and reporter. ""Corny"" he has been called; but his columns touched the heart of humanity, and were drawn from his own abiding love and interest. And yet, behind it, his own life was chiefly tragedy, highlighted by periods when Jerry was well, and they could plan- and ultimately enjoy- the dream home in Albuquerque. This biography, written by an intimate friend and fellow journalist, is made up largely from Ernie Pyle's letters,- to Lee Miller, to Jerry and a few others. Some extracts from his columns provide background, but in the main this is not only a new Ernie Pyle- but new Ernie Pyle writings. Serialized in McCalls.