Joseph Heller

1923 - 1999

Photo of Joseph Heller

Icon of person Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller (May 1, 1923 – December 12, 1999) was an American author of novels, short stories, plays, and screenplays. His best-known work is the 1961 novel Catch-22, a satire on war and bureaucracy, whose title has become a synonym for an absurd or contradictory choice. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Joseph Heller has received more than 1,467,241 page views. His biography is available in 52 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 49 in 2019). Joseph Heller is the 2,220th most popular writer (down from 2,001st in 2019), the 2,780th most popular biography from United States (down from 2,629th in 2019) and the 243rd most popular American Writer.

Memorability Metrics

  • 1.5M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 55.45

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 52

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 2.80

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 5.69

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Closing time
Middle-aged men, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945
Open Library Staff Picks, Fiction in English, Satire
Catch-22 is like no other novel. It has its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original. Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality -- a masterpiece of our time. - Back cover.
God knows
Funny, Kings and rulers, Bible
David (as in Biblical King David of Judea) remembers his life and times as he is old and near his time. We get a fresh perspective into his life, his complicated family, and even more complicated relationship with God. All well-written, funny, and moving.
We bombed in New Haven
Drama, American drama
Something Happened
Fiction in English, Businesspeople, Fiction
Good as Gold
Fiction, Jewish men, Jews


Among writers, Joseph Heller ranks 2,220 out of 7,302Before him are Rebecca West, Mikhail Artsybashev, Audre Lorde, Arsen Kotsoyev, Shakuntala Devi, and Maciej Stryjkowski. After him are Wayne Dyer, Teimuraz II of Kakheti, Chittaranjan Das, Renaud Camus, Hamza Hakimzade Niyazi, and Zuhayr bin Abi Sulma.

Most Popular Writers in Wikipedia

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Among people born in 1923, Joseph Heller ranks 132Before him are Bert Kaempfert, Wes Montgomery, Elisabeth Becker, Álvaro Mutis, Carl Djerassi, and Arthur Hiller. After him are Estelle Getty, Lucía Hiriart, Erroll Garner, Gerda van der Kade-Koudijs, Mario Brega, and Tito Puente. Among people deceased in 1999, Joseph Heller ranks 86Before him are Peko Dapčević, Victor Mature, Alf Ramsey, Sylvia Sidney, Shankar Dayal Sharma, and Ilmari Juutilainen. After him are David Ogilvy, Aldo van Eyck, Roy Chiao, Karen Demirchyan, Leon Štukelj, and Muhammad al-Sadr.

Others Born in 1923

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Others Deceased in 1999

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In United States

Among people born in United States, Joseph Heller ranks 2,780 out of 20,380Before him are Robert Garrett (1875), Paul Reubens (1952), Charles W. Fairbanks (1852), Don Simpson (1943), Melanie (1947), and Thelma Ritter (1902). After him are Wayne Dyer (1940), Harry Porter (1882), Edie Sedgwick (1943), Basil Poledouris (1945), Murray Perahia (1947), and Buddy Guy (1936).

Among WRITERS In United States

Among writers born in United States, Joseph Heller ranks 243Before him are Jacques Futrelle (1875), Samuel R. Delany (1942), E. L. Doctorow (1931), Alfred Bester (1913), Erich Segal (1937), and Audre Lorde (1934). After him are Wayne Dyer (1940), Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860), Harlan Coben (1962), Edward Bunker (1933), Fritz Leiber (1910), and John W. Campbell (1910).