Allen Drury, a longtime Washington correspondent who drew on his own knowledge to weave tales of political intrigue including the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Advise and Consent," died of heart failure on his 80th birthday.

Drury died Wednesday in a hospital near his home in Tiburon, said his publisher, Scribner."Advise and Consent," a tale of political betrayal and sexual scandal involving the nomination of a new secretary of state, was a best-seller that sparked speculation as to whether it was based on real politicians. Drury won the Pulitzer Prize for literature for the book in 1960.

Drury was covering the U.S. Senate for The New York Times when the novel he had been working on for seven years was published in 1959.

He gleaned the title from the Constitution: "The Senate shall advise and consent to the president's nominations to the Cabinet."

"Advise and Consent" was made into a movie in 1962, directed by Otto Preminger and starring Henry Fonda, Walter Pidgeon and Charles Laughton.

A prolific author, Drury went on to write 19 other novels and five nonfiction books, many dealing with Washington politics. Some elicited criticism from liberals who tired of his conservative view of the Cold War and communist or Soviet threats.

Two weeks ago, Drury finished his 20th novel, "Public Men."