What Woolrich lacked in literary prestige he made up for in suspense. Nobody was better at it. He achieved financial success and even fame during his lifetime, but enjoyed neither, living alone or with his ailing mother in a series of decrepit New York City hotel rooms for most of his life.
Shortly after losing a leg to gangrene out of sheer self-neglect, he died miserable and alone of a stroke on September 25th, 1968. Five people attended his funeral. He left his money ($850,000) to Columbia University to fund a writers program.
In the fall of 1951, shortly after Woolrich had stopped writing and had begun a long slow descent into alcoholism, loneliness, and illness, he told a fan that, of the novels he’d written, his two personal favorites were The Black Angel (1943) and Rendezvous In Black (1948).
Final Resting Place:
280 Secor Road
Hartsdale, New York, 10530
Grave Location:Shrine of Memories Mausoleum, Unit 1, Tier G, Crypt 102
Grave Location Description
After entering through the entrance between Cherrywood and Maplewood head northeast along the road to the Shrine of Memories Mausoleum. Park your car in the parking area and enter through the main entrance. Take the first right into Unit 1 and Cornell Woolrich’s grave will be on your left on the second row from the bottom.