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Paul Goodman
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Author
    (September 9, 1911-August 11, 1972)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Author, poet, therapist, social critic and anarchist philosopher
    Co-founder of gestalt therapy
    Wrote 'Kafka's Prayer' (1947), 'Communitas: Means of Livelihood and Ways of Life' (1947), 'The Structure of Literature' (1954), 'Growing Up Absurd' (1960), 'The Community of Scholars' (1962), 'Compulsory Mis-Education' (1964) and 'The Moral Ambiguity of America' (1967)
    Poetry collections include 'Stop Light: Five Dance Poems' (1941), 'The Lordly Hudson: Collected Poems' (1962), 'Hawkweed: Poems' (1967) and 'Homespun of Oatmeal Gray: Poems' (1972)
    Subject of the documentary 'Paul Goodman Changed My Life' (2011)
    He submitted his dissertation in 1939, but was not awarded a PhD until 1953.
    He was fired from several teaching jobs for sleeping with his students.
    He 'made passes at everybody' while insisting on complete fidelity from his wife.
    His blunt honesty frequently alienated his friends.
    Critic Edmund Fuller called him 'a sage in some areas and a screwball in others.'
    He has slipped into obscurity since his 60s heyday.
    Shortly before his birth, his father ran off to South America with another woman.
    He was valedictorian of his high school.
    He was openly bisexual and said, 'What is really obscene is the way our society makes us feel shameful and like criminals for doing human things that we really need.'
    Unlike a lot of 60s leftists, he never endorsed Ho Chi Minh or Fidel Castro.
    His son Matthew died in a mountain climbing accident (1967), and according to friends he never recovered from the loss.
    He was such a polymath that William F. Buckley introduced him on 'Firing Line' as being 'everything but a basketball player.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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