Born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1923, Reilly later enlisted in the Army during World War II, advancing to the rank of First Lieutenant. He earned both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart among other decorations for his service and bravery. Reilly had been captured before the Battle of the Bulge and was a prisoner of war for six months. When he returned home, Reilly married and continued his education, earning his Ph.D. from Boston University. Reilly also taught Irish literature at Creighton University for sixteen years, and it was there where he hit upon the idea to write the book Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal. Walt Disney Studio later made the novel into a film.
A professor, then a partner in an advertising firm, back to being a professor, Reilly was also a free-lance writer. He wrote over 1,000 articles and short stories, penned numerous books, scripted documentary films and television shows, and contributed as an editor to newsletters. Prolific, Reilly continues to write poetry, fiction, and nonfiction when he isn't leading tours of his beloved Ireland.
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