Robert Albert Bloch (/blɑːk/; April 5, 1917 – September 23, 1994) was a prolific American fiction writer, primarily of crime, horror, fantasy and science fiction, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is best known as the writer of Psycho, the basis for the film of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock. He wrote that "Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk," (a quote borrowed by Stephen King and often misattributed to him). His fondness for a pun is evident in the titles of his story collections such as Tales in a Jugular Vein, Such Stuff as Screams Are Made Of and Out of the Mouths of Graves.
Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over 30 novels. He was one of the youngest members of the Lovecraft Circle. H. P. Lovecraft was Bloch's mentor and one of the first to seriously encourage his talent. However, while Bloch started his career by emulating Lovecraft and his brand of "cosmic horror", he later specialized in crime and horror stories dealing with a more psychological approach.