'Downhill Racer' writer James Salter dies at 90

London: Author James Salter, who penned the 1969 Robert Redford-starrer hit 'Downhill Racer', has passed away. He was 90.

Salter, who lived in Bridgehampton, New York passed away on Friday in Sag Harbor, confirmed a spokesman. He is survived by two daughters and three sons from his two marriages, and four grandchildren, reported The Guardian.

His most famous work was the 1967 novel "A Sport and a Pastime", which focused on a US expat's affair with a French woman.

Born James Horowitz in 1925, he grew up in Manhattan and later joined the US air force. He left the military to take up writing in 1957, and began using Salter as a pen name to hide his Jewish heritage.

"Downhill Racer", the directorial debut of Michael Ritchie, was about a talented downhill skier (Redford), who joins the United States ski team in Europe to compete in international skiing competitions.

His drive to become a champion and his success on the slopes alienate his coach and teammates. After a second successful year of races, he wins the gold medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble.

Salter's other noted works of fiction were the novel "Light Years", and several collections of short stories.

His last novel, "All That Is", set in post-second world war New York, was published in 2013.

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