János Székely (1901–1958) was born in Budapest, Hungary. At the age of eighteen he left his native city for Berlin, where he became known as Hans Székely and wrote scripts for silent movies. In 1938 he emigrated to the United States, where, as John S. Toldy, he wrote screenplays for Hollywood films, winning an Academy Award for Best Story for Arise, My Love in 1940. His novel Temptation was initially published in English translation in 1946 under the pseudonym John Pen. Blacklisted during the McCarthy era, Székely spent several years in Mexico with his family before returning to Berlin in 1957.