Howard Sackler, 52, a playwright who won the Pulitzer Prize for "The Great White Hope" in 1969, was found dead Thursday at his home on the Spanish island of Ibiza, a spokesman here said. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death.
At the time of his death Mr. Sackler was working on a play entitled "Klondike," which was to be performed next summer at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland, the spokesman said. His film credits included work on "Jaws," the screenplay for "Jaws II" and "Saint Jack," a film by Peter Bogdonavich.
He also directed plays in London, Paris, Dublin, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Washington. In addition, he was the director of Caedmon Records, which recorded poetry and plays by many of England's top actors.
"The Great White Hope" was brought into final form at the Arena Stage in Washington. The play later was made into a successful film. Although Mr. Sackler acknowledged the role of Zelda Fischandler of the Arena Stage in making the play a success, the Arena received none of the subsequent royalties.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Mr. Sackler's plays won the Maxwell Anderson Award, the Sergei Award, the Drama Critics Circle Award and the Tony Award. Among his plays were "The Pastime of Monsieur Robert," "Goodbye Fidel," "Semmelweiss," "The Nine O'clock Mail," and "The Yellow Loves."
"Semmelweiss" was based on the life of Ignaz Phillip Semmelweiss, a 19th century physician who pioneered in hygiene. The play opened at the Kennedy Center here. There were disputes between Mr. Sackler and Roger L. Stevens and Robert Whitehead, the producers, about casting and rewriting and the production never went on to Broadway.
Mr. Sackler was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and was graduated from Brooklyn College.
Survivors include his wife, the former Greta Lynn Lungren, and two children, Daniel and Molly, both of New York.