AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week In 1965, Westheimer wrote “My Sweet Charlie,” which dealt with racial tensions in a Texas town. The story focuses on a bond that develops between a black civil-rights activist and a white teen who is pregnant but not married. The book was made into a successful play, which was produced on Broadway in 1966. It was later made into a television movie that earned an Emmy Award for actress Patty Duke. Other books written by Westheimer include “Summer on the Water,” “Sitting It Out” and “Delay En Route.” He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Dody; sons Fred and Eric; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Novelist David Westheimer, who wrote “My Sweet Charlie” and “Von Ryan’s Express,” which was turned into a movie starring Frank Sinatra, has died. He was 88. Westheimer died Tuesday of heart failure at UCLA Medical Center, according to his son Fred. Born in Houston, Westheimer graduated from Rice University in 1937 and joined the Houston Post, where he was an editor and columnist. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces and was a navigator aboard a B-24 bomber that was shot down by Italian fighter planes. He spent 28 months as a prisoner of war and was released in 1945. He drew upon the experience and wrote “Von Ryan’s Express,” a story about an American POW leading his fellow prisoners on a daring escape from the Germans in Italy. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for best sound effects.