Richard Boyd Gehman (May 21, 1921 – May 13, 1972) was an American author of five novels and 15 nonfiction books, as well as more than 3,000 magazine articles, including over 400 features.Gehman wrote under many different pen names, such as Meghan Richards, Frederick Christian, Martin Scott, Michael Robinson and F.C. Uffelman.
Gehman attended J. P. McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and worked on several local daily newspapers before joining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in World War II. He served four years as a writer for The Oak Ridge Times in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After the war he moved to Greenwich Village in New York City and began freelancing for Esquire, Life, Time, Cosmopolitan, Collier's, Argosy, True, Saga, and The Saturday Evening Post magazines. Gehman was an original Contributing Editor at Playboy.
Gehman's circle of friends included many well-known American writers, editors, painters, and actors, including Robert Frost, Joseph Heller, E.B. White, Roger Angell, Jackson Pollock, Diane Arbus, Howard Nemerov, Estelle Parsons, Jerry Lewis, Maurice Zolotow, Charlotte Zolotow, Morton Thompson and Anthony Hecht, among others.
Maurice Zolotow once claimed that Gehman wrote an entire issue of Cosmopolitan using more than a dozen different pen names; the truth is that Gehman wrote two or three of the principal articles for one issue, each under a different name, plus a record review under the name “Meghan Richards,” and possibly one other regular column. In those days Cosmopolitan used a graphic, diagonal cover banner to highlight special features. Cosmopolitan's editors had a mock-up cover made whose banner bore the legend: "The All Richard Gehman Issue."
Mark Evanier describes Gehman as "a prominent author of his day, specializing in celebrity profiles. He often got access to follow stars around for a few weeks so he could interview them extensively and report on what he observed...."
Gehman was descended from the Christian Gehman who arrived in what is now Pennsylvania in 1653. Gehman was the oldest of the four boys born to Martin Gehman, who fought in World War I, and Nellie Boyd. Gehman married five times. His third wife was Academy Award-winning actress Estelle Parsons, from 1953 to 1958. His fourth wife, Betsy Holland Gehman (d. 2016) a writer, was best known as the author of Twins: Twice the Trouble, Twice the Fun. His fifth wife, Marianne, was his high school sweetheart. Gehman fathered at least nine children, including Scott (d. 1981); writer Christian Gehman and brother, college professor, Robinson Gehman; Martha Gehman, an actor; her twin sister, Abbie Britton, a boutique owner; burlesque entrepreneur Pleasant Gehman; computer systems engineer Charles Gehman (d. 2020); Marian theologist Meghan Gehman; and White House food historian Eddie Gehman Kohan. Gehman's grandson with Estelle Parsons played professional football: Eben Britton.
Along with several other bon vivants, Gehman was a "shadow member" of "The Rat Pack." Gehman appeared as himself in the Jerry Lewis movie The Patsy.
Gehman taught writing at:
In the early 1960s, Gehman was hired by TV Guide magazine, for which he wrote many articles focused on celebrities. Gehman believed that creative people were often emotionally insecure because of an unhappy childhood, and that those who became celebrities in the entertainment industry sometimes did so because their insecurity motivated them to succeed.
His last years were spent in Lancaster, Pa, where he died in 1972.
Jerry Lewis was an American comedian, director, actor, screenwriter, singer, humanitarian and producer. Nicknamed "The King of Comedy", Lewis is regarded as one of the most significant American cultural figures of the 20th century, was widely known for his "kid" and "idiot" persona and his contributions to film, comedy and charity, along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in pop culture over an eight-decade career. He professionally debuted in 1946 as part of the famous Martin and Lewis with singer Dean Martin and performed together until 1956.
Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American writer and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." He is best known for his novels Main Street (1920), Babbitt (1922), Arrowsmith (1925), Elmer Gantry (1927), Dodsworth (1929), and It Can't Happen Here (1935).
Cosmopolitan is an American monthly fashion and entertainment magazine for women, first published based in New York City in March 1886 as a family magazine; it was later transformed into a literary magazine and, since 1965, has become a women's magazine. It was formerly titled The Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan magazine is one of the best-selling magazines and is directed mainly towards a female audience. Jessica Pels is the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Albert Edwin "Eddie" Condon was an American jazz banjoist, guitarist, and bandleader. A leading figure in Chicago jazz, he also played piano and sang.
Estelle Margaret Parsons is an American actress, singer and stage director.
Crescent Dragonwagon is a writer in six different genres, and a workshop leader. She leads Fearless Writing, which helps many people find their inner writer. She has written fifty traditionally published books, including two novels, seven cookbooks / culinary memoirs, more than twenty children's books, a biography, and a collection of poetry. In addition, she has written for magazines including The New York Times Book Review, Lear's, Cosmopolitan, McCall's, and The Horn Book.
Jerry Spinelli is an American writer of children's novels that feature adolescence and early adulthood. He is best known for Maniac Magee, Stargirl and Wringer.
George V. Higgins was an American author, lawyer, newspaper columnist, raconteur and college professor. He authored more than thirty books, including Bomber's Law,Trust, and Kennedy for the Defense, and is best known for his bestselling crime novels, including The Friends of Eddie Coyle, which established the Boston noir genre of gangster tales that spawned several popular films by followers in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Gary Lewis is an American musician who was the leader of Gary Lewis & the Playboys.
Maurice Zolotow was a show business biographer. He wrote books and magazine articles. His articles appeared in publications including Life, Collier's Weekly, Reader's Digest, Look, Los Angeles, and many others. His book Marilyn Monroe was the first written on the iconic actress and the only one published during her lifetime.
Asa Baber was an American author, former Marine, and columnist for Playboy.
Martha Gehman is an American retired actress, perhaps best known for her role as Ophelia in the 1985 cult classic The Legend of Billie Jean.
Eben Britton is a former American football offensive tackle who played six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Selected 39th overall in the 2009 NFL draft, he spent four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars followed by two with the Chicago Bears, last playing football in 2014. Britton started 23 games at right tackle, 7 at left guard, and 4 as a sixth eligible lineman, for a total of 34 career starts in 60 games played. He played college football at Arizona.
Barry Farrell was an American journalist and editor who wrote for magazines. He worked for Time, Life and Harper's Magazines in the 1960s and 1970s. He also wrote a book about Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal entitled Pat and Roald.
Holiday was an American travel magazine published from 1946 to 1977. Originally published by the Curtis Publishing Company, Holiday's circulation grew to more than one million subscribers at its height. The magazine employed writers such as Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Lawrence Durell, James Michener and E. B. White. The magazine was relaunched as a bi-annual magazine in 2014, located in Paris, but written in English.
Eli Waldron was an American writer and journalist whose primary work consisted of short stories, essays, and poetry. His writings were published in literary journals and popular periodicals. From the 1950s to 1970s he contributed stories and essays to The New Yorker, and in the 1960s and 1970s, a number of his poems and experimental fiction works appeared in underground, alternative, and "counter-culture" publications, such as The Illustrated Paper, Rat Subterranean News, Underground, The Village Voice, and The Woodstock Times.
Gargoyle Magazine is a literary magazine based in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1976 by Russell Cox, Richard Peabody, and Paul Pasquarella. By 1977, Peabody was the only remaining original editor. He continued running the magazine until 1990 with several different co-editors. Before the magazine ceased publication in 1990, 36 issues had been released. It resurfaced in 1997 with Peabody and Lucinda Ebersole as editors and continues to this day. Gargoyle Magazine released its 71st issue in 2020.
Alfred Henry Lewis was an American investigative journalist, lawyer, novelist, editor, and short story writer, who sometimes published under the pseudonym Dan Quin.
Jesse Mercer Gehman was an American naturopath, vegetarianism activist and amateur wrestler associated with the natural hygiene and physical culture movement.
Robert Crossley Atherton ; was an American magazine editor, author, publisher, artist and designer. He was the art director at Ladies' Home Journal for twelve years and the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 7 years; the last male editor-in-chief of this former literary magazine from 1959 to 1965. He remained with Cosmopolitan’s parent company, Hearst Magazines, becoming International Travel Editor for their wide portfolio of magazines.