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  • Wesley Rollo Wilson

    Born: June 9, 1890, Brooklyn, PA
    Died: November 11, 1956, Philadelphia, PA, age 66,---d. at Temple University Hospital, after suffering a heart attack during a football game.

    Philadelphia sports writer;
    Franklin, PA, 9-year old, (June 19, 1900 census)(listed Rollo W.)
    Pittsburgh, PA, druggist, drug store, (January 13, 1920 census)(listed Wesley Wilson)
    Philadelphia, PA, newspaper, Press representative, (April 26, 1930 census)(listed Rollo Wilson)
    Philadelphia, PA, US lawyer?, treasury Department?, (April 9, 1940 census)(listed W Rollo)
    Attended Temple University
    Graduated University of Pittsburgh
    Practiced pharmacy in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia
    Pennsylvania Athletic Commission, deputy commissioner
    Pitsburgh Courier, sports writer, (Philadelphia correspondent)

    Father: born Pennsylvania; Mother: born Pennsylvania; Wife: Irma M. Holland, born Pennsylvania, 1902?;

    ---------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, November 21, 1956, pp. 22.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-21-2013, 04:13 PM.


    • Frank Albert Young---AKA Fay Young

      Born: October 19, 1884, Williams Porte, PA
      Died: October 27, 1957, Chicago, IL, age 73,---d. intestinal obstruction at his home in Chicago, IL.

      Chicago editor;
      Chicago, IL, railroad, porter, (April 23, 1910 census)
      Chicago, IL, railroad, Waiter, (January 6, 1920 census)
      Chicago, IL, newspaper, managing editor, (April 7, 1930 census)
      Chicago, IL, newspaper, editor, (April 22, 1940 census)
      Chicago Defender, (free-lance sports writer, 1912-1914; managing editor, 1914-1918; sports editor, 1918-1929; managing editor, 1929-1934; sports editor, 1937-1949. Continued his weekly column, 'Fay Says' until his death.
      Kansas City Call, managing editor, 1934-1937
      Pittsburgh Courier, (Chicago correspondent), sports columnist, August 15, 1931 - ?. His column was 'Fay Says'.
      Illinois Athetic Commission, time keeper at fights.

      Father: born Pennsylvania; Mother: born Pennsylvania; Wife 1: Adaline Harrison, 1906; Wife 2: Cora Bowman, born Illinois, 1895?; Son: Frank Albert Young, Jr.; Daughter: Louis Anna Young; Son: Frank A., born Illinois, 1907?; Daughter: Louise M., born Illinois, 1909?;

      Early life
      Frank Albert Young was born John Luke Caution, Jr. on October 19, 1884 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the eldest of four children of John Luke Caution and Annie C. (Collins) Caution. The elder Caution, descended from Haitian immigrants, was originally from Washington County, Maryland and worked in a lumber mill in Williamsport. Annie Caution's mother was Julia C. Collins, who in 1865, produced the first serialized novel written by an African-American woman, Curse of Caste, or the Slave Bride. The family lived at 342 Front Street in Williamsport.

      In November 1889, Annie Collins Caution died of pneumonia at the age of twenty-seven, leaving four young children aged between one and five. In June 1892, John Caution was fatally injured at an accident at the mill where he worked. Orphaned, the four children were taken to Cambridge, Massachusetts by their father's brother; upon his death sometime later, all four were placed in a local orphanage. The two eldest, John Luke and Belva Lockwood Caution, were adopted by an African-American couple, William F. and Margaret E. Overton, of West Medford, Massachusetts where they lived until 1900 when John, known as John Overton, ran away from home, changing his name to Frank Albert Young.

      Under that name he worked at a number of jobs until he got work as a Pullman porter. By 1905, he was working as a dining car waiter for the Chicago and Northern Railway when he married eighteen year old Adaline Harrison in Chicago; they would have two children, a son and a daughter. The marriage was not successful, and in 1918, he married native Chicagoan Cora K. Bowman (1893–1960), who survived him.

      Around 1910, Young contacted J. Hockley Smiley, managing editor of the Chicago Defender newspaper as to the possibilities of a job as a reporter. Smiley told him that there were no jobs available, but anything Young could contribute on a free-lance basis would be greatly appreciated. Young started contributing pieces to both the Defender and the Indianapolis Recorder, another black-owned newspaper and, by 1912, was taken on as a sportswriter (again free-lance) by the Defender.

      In 1914, Young joined the staff of the Defender and the next year became managing editor until 1918. He developed the first weekly black sports section, serving as sports editor from 1918 to 1929. Young was also the first sportswriter to regularly cover sports at historically black colleges. He also served as managing editor of the Defender from 1929 to 1934, followed by a stint as managing editor of the Kansas City Call from 1934 to 1937. Young then returned to the Defender where he continued to write until his retirement in 1949, although he continued to produce his weekly column, "Fay Says" until his death.

      He helped organize the Negro National League in 1920, and served as statistician until the league disbanded in 1933. He also served as an official for the Illinois Athletic Commission, serving as a timekeeper at prizefights; he was also a former secretary of the Negro American League.

      Young died in 1957 of an intestinal obstruction at his home in Chicago shortly after receiving news that his sister Belva Overton had died in New York. Funeral services were held at Everybody's Church, a nondenominational church that he had helped establish at 60th Street and Wabash Avenue on the south side of Chicago, and he was buried at Mount Glenwood Cemetery in Thornton, Illinois.

      Considered the "Dean" of black sportswriters, Fay Young wrote about the African American influence on American sport. He supported Jack Johnson as he tried to return to boxing after serving his prison sentence, and was actively involved in promoting the inclusion of African Americans into professional sport during the early years of the twentieth century; he was also a staunch and unwavering supporter of black collegiate sports and auto racing.

      Young influenced a whole generation of black sportwriters. One was A.S. (Doc) Young (no relation), who in a 1970 article in Ebony Magazine said, "I listened to Fay Young and learned a great deal from him." Another was Russ J. Cowans who succeeded him as sports editor at the Defender.

      The Frank A. Young Poultry Plant at Tennessee State University was named in his honor.

      Chicago Defender, December 18, 1948, pp. 14.
      L-R: Inman Breaux, Fay Young, President Dr. G. Lamar Harrison.

      Pittsburgh Courier, August 15, 1931, pp. 1.

      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-21-2013, 03:11 PM.


      • Romeo Leonard Waldamar Dougherty

        Born: June 20, 1885, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
        Died: December 9, 1944, Jamaica (Queens), NY, age 59

        New York sports writer;
        NYC, newspaper sporting editor, (February 10, 1920 census)
        NYC, newspaper editor, (February 3, 1930 census)
        NYC, newspaper journalist, (April 10, 1940 census)(listed Romes Dougherty)
        Migrated to US in 1893, when only 8 years old.
        New York News, sports editor, September 23, 1916? - December 4, 1920"
        NYC newspaper editor, (September 12, 1918, WWI Civilian Draft Registration)
        New York Amsterdam News, sports editor; drama editor, December 6, 1922? - September 12, 1936?
        Lived in NYC, unemployed, (April 27, 1942, WWII Civilian Draft Registration)(stated he died December 9, 1944, in Jamaica, NY, it was written in as if it were inserted later.)
        Free lance writing

        Wife: Frances N. (Gant), born Washington, DC, 1894?;

        Cleveland Gazette obituary, December 23, 1944, pp. 10.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-21-2013, 02:45 PM.


        • Russell J. Cowans

          Born: July 29, 1896, Chicago, IL
          Died: December 20, 1978, Detroit, MI, age 72

          Chicago sports writer;
          Detroit, MI, unemployed, (June 3, 1918 WWI Civilian Draft Registration)
          Chicago Defender, sports writer, June 1, 1935 - January 10, 1959. (his column was 'Russ' Corner')

          Wife: Thelma Cowans

          Chicago Defender, December 11, 1955, pp. 11.
          L-R: Audry Patterson, Russ Cowans, Jean Patton Latimer.

          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-21-2013, 01:43 PM.


          • Marion E. Jackson

            Born: February 3, 1915, Buena Vista, GA
            Died: January 8, 1987, Birmingham, AL, age 71

            Atlanta sports writer;
            Birmingham, AL, 6-year old, (January 15, 1920 census)
            Birmingham, AL, 15-year old, (April 13, 1930 census)
            Birmingham, AL, new worker, (April 12, 1940 census)
            Graduated Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), 1938
            Atlanta Daily World, sports editor, 1947-1974, retired

            Father: William B., born Georgia, October, 1889; Mother: Louie, born Georgia, 1910?; Wife: Fannie Jackson; Son: Marion Jackson, Jr.; Harvey Ovington Jackson; Daughter: Taffey Benson.

            Mr. Jackson was one of the most talented journalists ever to grace the editorial offices of the World, Jackson was an avid reader of mystery novels, a follower of the Metropolitan Opera, favoring such operas as "Madam Butterfly," and "Carmen."

            He held close associations with both black and white police officers, sometimes writing stories about them. His older brother, Emory O. Jackson was a famous managing editor of the Birmingham World (AL).

            ATlanta Daily World obituary, January 11, 1987, pp. 1.

            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Marion and his siblings: Top, L-R: Calvin, Lovell, Bernard. Bottom, L-R: Marion, Emory, William.
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013, 04:34 PM.


            • Dr. Emory Overton Jackson

              Born: September 8, 1908, Buena Vista, Georgia
              Died: September 10, 1975, Birmingham, AL, age 67,---d. after several months of illness.

              Birmingaham sports editor;
              Buena Vista, GA, 1-year old, (April 6, 1910 census)
              Birmingham, AL, 11-year old, (January 15, 1920 census)
              Birmingham, AL, 21-year old, (April 13, 1930 census)
              Birmingham, AL, teacher, city school, (April 12, 1940 census)
              Graduated Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), (further study at Atlanta University)
              Birmingham World, sports editor, 1943 - 1975
              WWII service,

              Father: William B., born Georgia, October, 1889; Mother: Louie, born Georgia, 1885?;

              Pioneer in civil rights crusade. Mr. Jackson moved moved with his family from Georgia to Birmingham, AL, in 1919, when only 11 years old. He was active in the national Newspaper Publishers Association where he was a member of the organization's board of directors. The Birmingham World is a sister paper to the Atlanta Daily World. It began in 1930.

              Father: William B., born Georgia, 1888?; Mother: Louie, born Georgia, 1910?;

              Atlanta Daily World obituary, September 14, 1975, pp. 1.

              Emory and his siblings: Top, L-R: Calvin, Lovell, Bernard. Bottom, L-R: Marion, Emory, William.
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013, 04:34 PM.


              • Lucius L. Jones---AKA Melancholy Jones

                Born: 1910?, Columbia, SC
                Died: October 12, 1952, Columbia, South Carolina, age 42,---d. after an extended illness.

                Atlanta sports writer;
                Atlanta, GA, 11-year old, (January 17, 1920 census)
                Graduated Clark College (Atlanta, GA)
                Atlanta Daily World
                Pittsburgh Courier (managing editor of the Louisiana Edition of the Courier), ? 1950
                Atlanta Daily World,
                The Carolinian
                Baltimore Afro-American

                Father: born South Carolina; Mother: born South Carolina;

                Mr. Jones spent his childhood and early manhood in Atlanta. In 1930, Mr. Jones organized the Adelphi Junior Club, which functioned until 1942, when it was disbanded due to WWII. It trained many fine athletes to stardom.

                Atlanta Daily World obituary, October 14, 1952, pp. 1.
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013, 03:36 PM.


                • Eric Burwell Roberts---AKA Ric Roberts

                  Born: May 26, 1905, Gainsville, FL
                  Died: September 12, 1985, Washington, DC, age 80,---d. kidney ailment at Howard University Hospital.

                  Atlanta sports writer;
                  Gainsville, GA, 8-year old, (May 4, 1910 census)
                  Gainsville, GA, 14-year old, (January 17, 1920 census)
                  Gainesville, GA, 25-year old, (April 11, 1930 census)
                  Graduated Clark College (Atlanta, GA), 1930
                  Atlanta Daily World
                  Norfolk Journal and Guide
                  Baltimore Afro-American, 1936 -
                  Pittsburgh Courier, 1941 - 1954 (Washington bureau), 1954 - 1966 (Pittsburgh bureau)
                  Howard University, public relations, ? 1966 - 1976

                  Father: Delley, born Florida, 1880?; Mother: Frances Cornelia English, born Florida, 1881?;

                  He was the first sports editor of the Atlanta Daily World while a sophmore at Clark College. He was an artist of rare ability and an outstanding athlete. He was a member of the Pigskin Club.

                  In September, 1934, Roberts and assistant sports editor Lucius Jones conferred with then publisher C. A. Scott who came to that post in February. They got permission to start the 100% Wrong Club of the Atlanta Daily World which still owns the club which has grown to capacity since.

                  Atlanta Daily World obituary, September 15, 1985, pp. 1.

                  --------------------------------------------------------------Washington Post obituary, September 19, 1985, pp. D6.
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-25-2013, 09:21 AM.


                  • Buewell Towns Harvey, Jr.---AKA B. T. Harvey

                    Born: July 18, 1892, Griffen, GA
                    Died: October 15, 1971, Atlanta, GA, age 79,---d. Georgia Baptist Hospital (Atlanta, GA), after surgery.

                    Atlanta athletic coach,
                    Atlanta, GA, 7-year old, (June 11, 1900 census)(listed Burrell T.)
                    Lakewood, NJ, 17-year old, (May 10, 1910 census)(listed Burwell, Jr.)
                    Atlanta, GA, teacher, college, (January 14, 1920 census)(listed Burwell)
                    Atlanta, GA, teacher, college, (April 9, 1930 census)(listed Burdell T.)
                    Atlanta, GA, chemistry teacher, college, (April 8, 1940 census)(listed Burwell T.)
                    Graduated Colgate University (Villlage of Hamilton, NY),
                    Taught at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), (49 years)(chemistry); (football coach)

                    Father: Burwell T., Sr., born Alabama, April, 1864; Mother: Sadie S., born Georgia, May, 1870; Wife: Mae W., born Georgia, 1893?; Daughter: Ethel, born Georgia, 1919; Daughter: Jeanette W., born Georgia, 1922?; Sadie E., born Georgia, 1924?;

                    Mr. Harvey co-founded the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Southern Coaches and Official Association, with coach Cleveland L. Abbott.

                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013, 02:27 PM.


                    • William Clarence Matney, Jr.

                      Born: September 2, 1924, West Virginia
                      Died June 13, 2001, Bethesda, MD, age 76,---d. respiratory failure after hip replacement surgery, at Civista Medical Center in La Plata, MD.

                      Sports writer / social commentor;
                      Bluefield, WV, 2-year old, (April 4, 1930 census)
                      University of Michigan, (Journalism degree)
                      Michigan Chronicle, 1946 - 1950's, managing editor
                      Michigan Athletic Board of Control, secretary, 1954
                      Detroit News, reporter, 1962 - 1963, assistant city editor
                      NBC, 1963 - 1970 (Chicago bureau)
                      NBC, 1970 - 1972 (Washington, DC bureau)
                      ABC News, 1972 - 1978 (covered the White House / Congress)

                      Father: William Clarence, Sr., born Virginia, 1898?, Mother: Jane A. born Alaama, 1905?;

                      BETHESDA, Md. - William Matney Jr., the first black correspondent for NBC News, has died of respiratory failure. He was 76. Matney's journalism career in print and broadcast spanned more than 30 years.

                      He served as a correspondent for NBC and ABC from 1963-1978, where his beats included Capitol Hill and the White House.

                      Born in West Virginia, Matney graduated from the University of Michigan with a journalism degree.

                      He took his first reporting job in 1946 with The Michigan Chronicle.

                      He eventually became managing editor, a post he held for 10 years.

                      William C. Matney Jr., 76, who was credited by the Associated Press as being the first black correspondent to work for NBC News, died of respiratory failure June 13 at Civista Medical Center in La Plata.

                      The Bethesda resident died after hip replacement surgery.

                      Mr. Matney joined the NBC network news staff in 1963 in Chicago, where he was based while covering the auto industry, urban unrest and the 1968 Nixon-Agnew presidential campaign. He also produced programs for NBC radio and appeared on the network's "Today" television show at that time. In 1966, he won an Emmy Award.

                      Los Angeles Sentinel obituary, June 28, 2001, pp. A5.--------------------------------Jet Magazine, September 2, 1954.
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-19-2013, 05:39 PM.


                      • Othello Nelson Renfroe---AKA Chico Renfroe

                        Born: March 1, 1923, Newark NJ
                        Died: September 3, 1991, Atlanta, GA, age 68,---d. Smyrna Hospital of heart attack.

                        Atlanta sports editor;
                        Clark College (Atlanta, GA),
                        Negro League, baseball player, 1945 - 1950
                        Played baseball with various black teams, 1951 - 1954
                        Atlanta, GA, Post Office,
                        Atlanta radio station, WERD, sports announcer
                        Atlanta radio station, WIGO, sports announcer,
                        Atlanta Daily World, sports writer, 1972 - 1975, sports editor, 1975 -
                        Montreal Expos, scout
                        Altanta Braves, official scorer, 1975 -

                        Father: Rev. Willie Renfroe; Mother: Emma Renfroe; Wife: Louise B.;

                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-28-2012, 03:02 PM.


                        • ------------------------------And then there were Literary Writers who wrote short stories with sports humor. Here are some prominent writers of that category.

                          Cornelia Otis Skinner

                          Born: May 30, 1899, Chicago, IL
                          Died: July 9, 1979, New York City, New York, age 80

                          Literary author / actress / screenwriter;
                          Cornelia was the daughter of a famous actor, Otis Skinner (b.1858, Cambridge - d. 1942). She was an actress and monologuist. She married Alden S. Blodgett (1928).

                          After attending the all-girls' Baldwin School and Bryn Mawr College (1918-1919) and studying theatre at the Sorbonne in Paris, she began her career on the stage in 1921. She appeared in several plays before embarking on a tour of the United States from 1926 to 1929 in a one-woman performance of short character sketches she herself wrote. She wrote numerous short humorous pieces for publications like The New Yorker. These pieces were eventually compiled into a series of books, including Nuts in May, Dithers and Jitters, Excuse It Please!, and The Ape In Me, among others.

                          With Emily Kimbrough, she wrote Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, a hilarious description of their European tour after college. Kimbrough and Skinner went to Hollywood to act as consultants on the film version of the book, which resulted in We Followed Our Hearts to Hollywood. Skinner was portrayed by Bethel Leslie in the short-lived 1950 television series The Girls based upon Our Hearts Were Young and Gay.

                          Author, producer, and actor of Edna His wife (a monodrama, from the novel by Margaret Ayer Barnes), The Wives of Henry VIII, The Empress Eugenie, and many shorter sketches; author of the play Captain Fury, and books of light essays, as Excuse It, Please (1936).

                          She appeared in the films, Will Shakespeare, Blood and Sand, The Wild Westcotts, et.; "The Swimmer (1968), "The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing" (1955), "The Uninvited" (1944), "Stage Door Canteen" (1943) and "Kismet" (1920). She wrote, "The Pleasure of His Company" (1961) and "Our Hearts Were Young And Gay" (1944). She appeared on television in "The Alcoa Hour" (1955 to 1957) and "The General Electric Guest House" (1951) and in a play, "Lady Windermere's Fan" (1946). She was the daughter of actor Otis Skinner and actress Maud Durbin.

                          Among many other writings, wrote many short stories. Contributed a short story to 'A Treasury of Sports Humor, edited by Dave Stanley, October 24, 1946. Her contribution was 'On Skating'.

                          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Maurice Chevalier/Cornelia Skinner, October 27, 1967.

                          Cornelia, on the right, appears to be in a hunting lodge, giving dictation to her secretary, assisting in the transcription.

                          At home in her sumptuous den.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Los Angeles Times' obituary, July 10, 1979, pp. SD.

                          Elegant Wits and Grand Horizontals
                          Life With Lindsay and Crouse
                          Our Hearts Were Young and Gay: An Unforgettable Comic Chronicle of Innocents Abroad in the 1920s
                          Bottoms Up!
                          Dithers and Jitters
                          EXCUSE IT,PLEASE! 19 Hilarious Sketches by One of America's Warmest Most Delightful Wits
                          Family Circle: The Theatrical Skinner Family.
                          Happy Family
                          Nuts in May
                          One Woman Show: a Collection of Monologues By Cornelia Otis Skinner
                          Soap Behind the Ears
                          That's Me All Over
                          The Ape in Me
                          Tiny Garments
                          Madame Sarah - Sarah Bernhardt Biography
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-14-2013, 04:56 PM.


                          • Clara Margery Melita Sharp

                            Born: January 25, 1905, Malta
                            Died: March 14, 1991, London, England, age 86

                            Literary author;

                            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                            Margery Sharp (January 25, 1905 - March 14, 1991), was an English author. She was a prolific writer in her long career, writing 26 novels for adults, 14 stories for children, 4 plays, 2 mysteries, as well as numerous short stories. Her most famous work is The Rescuers series about a mouse named Miss Bianca, which was later adapted in two animated feature films, The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under by Disney.

                            She was born Clara Margery Melita Sharp in the district of Salisbury in the county of Wiltshire, although her family originated from northern Yorkshire. She spent part of her childhood in Malta.

                            In 1938 she married Major Geoffrey Castle, an aeronautical engineer.

                            Among many other writings, wrote many short stories. Contributed a short story to 'A Treasury of Sports Humor, edited by Dave Stanley, October 24, 1946. Her contribution was 'Winning Sequence'.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-08-2010, 10:44 PM.


                            • William Saroyan---AKA his pen name, Sirak Garoyan

                              Born: August 31, 1908, Fresno, CA
                              Died: May 18, 1981, Fresno, CA, age 72

                              Literary author;

                              From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                              William Saroyan (pronounced /səˈrɔɪ.ən/; Armenian: Վիլյամ Սարոյան; 31 August 1908 - 18 May 1981) was an Armenian-American dramatist and author. The setting of many of his stories and plays is the center of Armenian-American life in California in his native Fresno.

                              Saroyan was born in Fresno, California to Armenian immigrants from Bitlis in the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey). At the age of three, after his father's death, Saroyan was placed in the orphanage in Oakland, California, together with his brother and sister, an experience he later described in his writing. Five years later, the family reunited in Fresno, where his mother, Takoohi, secured work at a cannery. He continued his education on his own, supporting himself by taking odd jobs, such as working as an office manager for the San Francisco Telegraph Company.

                              Saroyan decided to become a writer after his mother showed him some of his father's writings. A few of his early short articles were published in Overland Monthly. His first stories appeared in the 1930s. Among these was "The Broken Wheel", written under the name Sirak Goryan and published in the Armenian journal Hairenik in 1933. Many of Saroyan's stories were based on his childhood experiences among the Armenian-American fruit growers of the San Joaquin Valley, or dealt with the rootlessness of the immigrant. The short story collection My Name is Aram (1940), an international bestseller, was about a young boy and the colorful characters of his immigrant family. It has been translated into many languages.

                              As a writer Saroyan made his breakthrough in Story magazine with The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (1934), the title taken from the nineteenth century song of the same title. The protagonist is a young, starving writer who tries to survive in a Depression-ridden society.

                              Saroyan served in the US Army during World War II. He was stationed in Astoria, Queens, spending much of his time at the Lombardy Hotel in Manhattan, far from Army personnel. In 1942, he was posted to London as part of a film unit. He narrowly avoided a court martial when his novel, The Adventures of Wesley Jackson, was seen as advocating pacifism.

                              Saroyan worked rapidly, hardly editing his text, and drinking and gambling away much of his earnings. From 1958 on, he mainly resided in a Paris apartment.

                              Saroyan published essays and memoirs, in which he depicted the people he had met on travels in the Soviet Union and Europe, such as the playwright George Bernard Shaw, the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, and Charlie Chaplin. In 1952, Saroyan published The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, the first of several volumes of memoirs.

                              Saroyan's stories celebrated optimism in the midst of the trials and tribulations of the Depression. Several of Saroyan's works were drawn from his own experiences, although his approach to autobiographical fact contained a fair bit of poetic license.

                              His advice to a young writer was: "Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell." Saroyan endeavored to create a prose style full of zest for life and seemingly impressionistic, that came to be called "Saroyanesque".

                              In some respects, Saroyan's characters resemble the penniless writer in Knut Hamsun's 1890 novel Hunger, but lack the anger and nihilism of Hamsun's narrator. The story was republished in a collection whose royalties enabled Saroyan to travel to Europe and Armenia, where he learned to love the taste of Russian cigarettes, once observing, "you may tend to get cancer from the thing that makes you want to smoke so much, not from the smoking itself." (from Not Dying, 1963)

                              Saroyan's plays were drawn from deeply personal sources, and often disregarded the convention that conflict is essential to drama. My Heart's in the Highlands (1939), his first play, was a comedy about a young boy and his Armenian family. It was produced at the Guild Theatre in New York.

                              Saroyan is probably best remembered for his play The Time of Your Life (1939), set in a waterfront saloon in San Francisco. It won a Pulitzer Prize, which Saroyan refused on the grounds that commerce should not judge the arts; he did accept the New York Drama Critics' Circle award. The play was adapted into a 1948 film starring James Cagney.

                              Before the war, Saroyan worked on the screenplay of Golden Boy (1939), based on Clifford Odets's play, but he never had much success in Hollywood and after his disappointment with the Human Comedy film project, he never permitted any Hollywood screen adaptation of any of his novels regardless of his financial straits.

                              The Human Comedy (1943) is set in the fictional California town of Ithaca in the San Joaquin Valley (based on Saroyan's memories of Fresno, California), where young telegraph messenger Homer bears witness to the sorrows and joys of life during World War II.

                              “ "Mrs. Sandoval," Homer said swiftly, "your son is dead. Maybe it's a mistake. Maybe it wasn't your son. Maybe it was somebody else. The telegram says it was Juan Domingo. But maybe the telegram is wrong... (from The Human Comedy) ”

                              Saroyan's tomb in Komitas Pantheon, YerevanSaroyan was hired to write the screenplay for and direct the film for MGM. When Louis B. Mayer balked at its length, Saroyan would not compromise and was removed from the project. He then turned the script into a novel, publishing it just prior to the film's release. This novel is often credited as the source for the movie when in fact the reverse is true. The novel is the basis for a 1983 musical of the same name.

                              Interest in Saroyan's novels declined after the war, when he was criticized for sentimentality. Freedom, brotherly love, and universal benevolence were for him basic values, but his idealism was considered out of step with the times. He still wrote prolifically, so that one of his readers could ask "How could you write so much good stuff and still write such bad stuff?"

                              In the novellas The Assyrian and other stories (1950) and in The Laughing Matter (1953) Saroyan mixed allegorical elements within a realistic novel. The plays Sam Ego's House (1949) and The Slaughter of the Innocents (1958) were not as successful as his prewar plays. Many of Saroyan's later plays, such as The Paris Comedy (1960), The London Comedy (1960), and Settled Out of Court (1969), premiered in Europe. Manuscripts of a number of unperformed plays are now at Stanford University with his other papers.

                              When Ernest Hemingway learned that Saroyan had made fun of the controversial non-fiction work Death in the Afternoon, Hemingway responded: "We've seen them come and go. Good ones too. Better ones than you, Mr. Saroyan."

                              In the late 1960s and the 1970s, Saroyan earned more money and finally got out of debt.

                              Personal life
                              In 1943, Saroyan was married to actress Carol Marcus (1924–2003) with whom he had two children, Aram and Lucy. Aram went on to become an author, and published a book about his father, and Lucy was an actress.[1] By the late 1940s, Saroyan's drinking and gambling took a toll on his marriage, and he filed for divorce upon returning from an extended European trip in 1949. They were remarried briefly in 1951 and divorced again in 1952 with Marcus later claiming in her autobiography, Among the Porcupines: A Memoir,[2][3] that Saroyan was abusive. Carol was subsequently married to actor Walter Matthau.

                              Saroyan died in Fresno, of prostate cancer at age 72. Half of his ashes were buried in California, and the remainder in Armenia at the Pantheon near film director Sergei Parajanov.

                              Among many other writings, wrote many short stories. Contributed a short story to 'A Treasury of Sports Humor, edited by Dave Stanley, October 24, 1946. His contribution was 'The Fifty Yard Dash'.

                              'Don't Go Away Mad', 1949.

                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------American Biographical Archive
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-17-2011, 11:22 AM.


                              • Philip Gordon Wylie

                                Born: May 12, 1902, Beverly, MA
                                Died: October 25, 1971, Rushford, NY, age 69

                                Literaty author;

                                From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                                Philip Gordon Wylie (May 12, 1902 – October 25, 1971) was an American author.

                                Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, he was the son of Presbyterian minister Edmund Melville Wylie and the former Edna Edwards, a novelist, who died when Philip was five years old. His family moved to Montclair, New Jersey and he later attended Princeton University from 1920–1923. He married Sally Ondek, and had one child, Karen, an author who became the inventor of animal "clicker" training; she was the wife of Taylor Alderdyce Pryor, a Marine helicopter pilot who became a Hawaii state senator and a co-founder of Sea Life Park and Oceanic Institute in Hawaii, of which his wife served as director. After a divorcing his first wife, Philip Wylie married Frederica Ballard who was born and raised in Rushford, New York; they are both buried in Rushford.

                                A writer of fiction and nonfiction, his output included hundreds of short stories, articles, serials, syndicated newspaper columns, novels, and works of social criticism. He also wrote screenplays while in Hollywood, was an editor for Farrar & Rinehart, served on the Dade County, Florida Defense Council, was a director of the Lerner Marine Laboratory, and at one time was an adviser to the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee for Atomic Energy which led to the creation of the Atomic Energy Commission. Most of his major writings contain critical, though often philosophical, views on man and society as a result of his studies and interest in psychology, biology, ethnology, and physics. Over nine movies were made from novels or stories by Wylie. He sold the rights for two others that were never produced.

                                His wide range of interests defies easy classification but his earliest books exercised great influence in twentieth-century science fiction pulp magazines and comic books.

                                Writing as he did when less potent technology was available, he applied engineering principles and the scientific method quite broadly in his work. His novel The Disappearance (1951) is about what happens when everyone wakes up one day and finds that all members of the opposite sex are missing (all the men have to get along without women, and vice versa). The book delves into the double standards between men and women that existed prior the woman's movement of the 1970s, exploring the nature of the relationship between men and women and the issues of women's rights and homosexuality. Many people at the time considered it as relevant to science fiction as his Experiment in Crime.

                                The story The Paradise Crater (1945) was cause for his house arrest by the federal government; it describes a post-WWII 1965 Nazi attempt to rule the world with atomic power.

                                His nonfiction book of essays, Generation of Vipers (1942), was a best-seller during the 1940s and inspired the term "Momism". Some people have accused Generation of Vipers of being misogynistic. The Disappearance shows his thinking on the subject is very complex. (His only child, Karen Wylie Pryor, is the author of a classic book for breastfeeding mothers, Nursing Your Baby, and has commented that her father was far from being a misogynist.) His novel of manners Finnley Wren was also highly regarded in its time.

                                He wrote 69 "Crunch and Des" stories, most of which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post,[2] about the adventures of Captain Crunch Adams, master of the charter boat Poseidon, which was the basis of a brief television series. His "Crunch and Des" stories were an apparent influence on John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books. In 1941 Wylie became Vice-President of the International Game Fish Association and for many years was responsible for writing IGFA rules and reviewing world record claims.

                                An article Wylie written in 1951 in The Saturday Evening Post entitled 'Anyone Can Raise Orchids' led to the popularization of this hobby — not just the rich, but gardeners of every economic level began experimenting with orchids.

                                In August 1963, his niece Janice Wylie was murdered, along with her roommate Emily Hoffert, in New York City. The crime, which became known as the "Career Girls Murder Case," led to the — at that time — most expensive criminal investigation in New York's history. The case provided the inspiration for the television movie The Marcus-Nelson Murders, which led to the television series Kojak.

                                Philip Wylie died from a heart attack on October 25, 1971. Some of his papers, writings, and other possessions are in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Library.

                                Among many other writings, wrote many short stories. Contributed a short story to 'A Treasury of Sports Humor, edited by Dave Stanley, October 24, 1946. His contribution was 'The Way of All Fish."
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-14-2013, 04:58 PM.


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