Thomas Eugene Gifford was a best-selling American author of thriller novels. He gained international fame with thesuspense novel The Wind Chill Factor and later with the Vatican-based thriller The Assassini.

After graduating from Harvard he moved to the Twin Cities, MN where he and his wife, Kari Sandven, had two children (Thomas Eaton, Rachel Claire). Divorced in 1969, he went on to marry Camille D'Ambrose, a local actress. They moved to Los Angeles for a few years, then returned to Orono, MN. Novels continued to flow from his fountain pen through the years. Gifford eventually moved to New York—a city he loved whose people were of infinite importance to him.

In 1996, he turned his attention to renovating his childhood home in Dubuque, spending more time in Iowa than New York during his last years. He embraced the community of Dubuque, as they embraced their prodigal son. Featured in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Gifford recounted his every day occurrences, from learning the pleasure of getting a dog (Katie Maxwell, the Scottie) to peeves and pleasures of the town.

Diagnosed with terminal cancer in February, 2000, Gifford spent his remaining months reading, watching old movies, and chatting with friends and family. He passed away on an unseasonably warm Halloween, just as the ghosts and goblins started their tricks.

Gifford lived life large, had friends throughout the world, and lived life by his favorite credo—we're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time.

Gifford also published under the names Dana Clarins and Thomas Maxwell.