Books, Music & Movies · The Death of Santini

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The Death of Santini:The Story of a Father and His Son

Pat Conroy

In 1976, Pat Conroy published his first novel, The Great Santini, which was consequently made into a movie starring Robert Duvall. The abusive military father was based on Conroy's own father, US Marine pilot Don Conroy. At the time of the novel's publication, the family was so offended that Pat publicized personal family matters that they picketed book signings, handing out flyers asking people not to buy the book. However, seeing himself through the Santini character, Don Conroy realized a change was needed. He and his son, Pat, eventually had a very close relationship. This is their story.