Re: RARA-AVIS: Gehman's DRIVEN...

From: Mark R. Harris (
Date: 04 Jul 2008

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    "Richard Gehman was a journalist, biographer and free lance writer. Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on May 20, 1921 Gehman attended local public schools and graduated from McCaskey High School in 1938. Prior to his graduation he worked for Lancaster's two major papers the *Sunday News* and *Intelligencer Journal*. After his graduation until 1942 Gehman worked as a reporter for the Lancaster *New Era* and the *Philadelphia Record*. In 1942, Gehman was drafted into the United States Army and was stationed at the military base in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. While in Oak Ridge he edited the base's newspaper the *Oak Ridge Journal* from 1943 until the close of the war. Following the war, Gehman moved to New York and began working for the magazines *Good Housekeeping* and *Cosmopolitan*. Within a few years he chose to become a freelance writer contributing articles to numerous magazines including * Newsweek*, *Look* and the *Saturday Evening Post*. *During the 1950's and 1960's he published over 3,000 articles, wrote five novels and a dozen nonfiction books.* He also taught writing classes at several major universities including New York University, Columbia University and Indiana University. By the late 1960's he had become known by his peers as the "King of Freelance Writers". During 1970's the demand for his articles had waned and before his death had practically ceased. He spent his final years in Lancaster financially bankrupt and emotionally troubled over his declining popularity. He died on May 12, 1972."

    "Richard Boyd Gehman (1921-1972), was born in Lancaster, PA., educated at McCaskey High School and began his career as a copy editor and 'cub reporter' for the local newspapers. He was a very prolific writer, composing thousands of magazine articles in addition to his nineteen books. He spent four years in the Unites States Engineer Corps during World War II and wrote for the Army in Tennessee. Much of his writing focuses on his intimate connection with such high-profile personalities as Eddie Condon, Harry Richman, Hugh Hefner, and Humphery Bogart. In addition, Gehman also taught writing at such institutions as New York University, Columbia University, Indiana University, Pennsylvania State University, Millersville State Teacher's College, and at Middlebury College's Bread Loaf Writer's Conference. Gehman is also the author of the musical, "By Hex," a.k.a. "The Wonderful Good," about the Amish of his native Lancaster. His wide range of interests are reflected in his expansive bibliography. *Gehman also published under the pseudonyms Meghan Richards, Frederic Christian, Martin Scott, and F.C.Uffelman.* He was married several times most notably to Academy Award winning actress Estelle Parsons." Here are the novels I have been able to identify. I searched all the pseudonyms at Bookfinder, but didn't find any likely titles:

    Each Life to Live (Fawcett, 1952) Driven (Gold Medal, 1954) The Slander of Witches (New American Library, 1956) -- "A shocking novel of small-town sin" The Had (Trident Press, 1965)


    On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 10:33 PM, Jeff Vorzimmer <> wrote:

    > > Has anyone read this novel? I'd heard of it in passing once or twice
    > > before, but had never sought it out and am now thinking perhaps I should.
    > > For a "noir classic" it seems to have kept a pretty low profile.
    > It's very good, yes. A noir classic, no. I believe it's the only novel
    > Gehman ever wrote. Everything else I've seen by him is non-fiction. I
    > recently picked up a book he wrote on Sinatra and The Rat Pack. The first
    > biography of The Rat Pack I think. Haven't gotten around to reading it.
    > But, anyway, Driven is one of those novels that's highly praised, but
    > difficult to find. It seems the harder a good book is to find, the more
    > it's
    > praised.
    > Jeff

    Mark R. Harris
    2122 W. Russet Court #8
    Appleton WI 54914
    (920) 470-9855

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