William C. Brinkley; Novelist, Journalist

Associated Press

William Clark Brinkley, who wrote of the sea and whose best-known book, "Don't Go Near the Water," was made into a movie, died Monday. He was 76.

Brinkley had been depressed and killed himself with an overdose of barbiturates, said his wife, Jean Brinkley.

Brinkley wrote books from 1948 to 1988, including "Quicksand," "The Deliverance of Sister Cecilia," "The Fun House," "The Ninety and Nine," "The Two Susans," "Breakpoint," "Peeper" and "The Last Ship," his final work.

"The Last Ship" is about the crews of an American and a Soviet submarine, the only survivors of a nuclear war.

"Don't Go Near the Water," a comedy about sailors serving in the South Pacific during World War II, was released in 1957 as a movie starring Glenn Ford.

Brinkley was a reporter for the Washington Post from 1941 to 1942 and from 1949 to 1951. He was an assistant editor and staff writer for Life magazine from 1951 to 1958.

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