Eric Hammel was born in 1946, in Salem, Massachusetts, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Central High School of Philadelphia in January 1964 and earned a degree in Journalism from Temple University in 1972. His road to writing military history began at age twelve, when he was stuck in bed for a week with a childhood illness. Eric's father bought him the first paperback book he ever owned, Walter Lord's Day of Infamy. As he devoured the book, Eric realized that he wanted to write books exactly like it, what we now call popular narrative history. Lord had pieced together the book from official records illuminated with the recollections of people who were there. Eric began to write his first military history book when he was fifteen. The book eventually turned out to be Guadalcanal: Starvation Island. Eric completed the first draft before he graduated from high school. During his first year of college, Eric wrote the first draft of Munda Trail, and got started on 76 Hours when he was a college junior. Then Eric got married and went to work, which left him no time to pursue his writing except as a journalism student.
Eric quit school at the end of his junior year and went to work in advertising in 1970. Eric completed his journalism degree in 1972, moved to California in 1975, and finally got back to writing while he operated his own one-man ad agency and started on a family. 76 Hours was published in 1980, and Chosin followed in 1982. At the end of 1983 Eric was offered enough of an advance to write The Root: The Marines in Beirut to take up writing books full time. The rest, as they say, is history.
Eric eventually published under his own imprint, Pacifica Press, which morphed into Pacifica Military History and IPS Books. At some point in the late 1990s, Eric realized he had not written in five years, so he pretty much closed down the publishing operation and pieced together a string of pictorial combat histories for Zenith Press. Eric nominally retired in 2008 and took up writing as a full-time hobby writing two novels, 'Til The Last Bugle Call and Love and Grace. Fast forward to 2018 and Eric was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and on August 25th 2020, Eric passed from this life to the next at the age of 74.
This website is dedicated to not only to Eric's legacy as a prolific military history author and publisher, but also as a mentor to other authors.
'Til the last landing's made
and we stand unafraid
on a shore no mortal has seen.
'Til the last bugle call
sounds taps for us all
it's Semper Fidelis, Marine.