Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Papa -- From Millersville University's Archive

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.