William Goldman is probably best known as a screenwriter, he brought to the big screen many movies including The Princess Bride, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Misery and All the Presidents Men.
However, to readers, he’s best known as a novelist, for bringing us The Princess Bride, Marathon Man and other well known works.
Born in Chicago, Goldman was brought up within a Jewish family in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois. He would go on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College in 1952 before joining the army. Eventually Goldman realised he would like to write and took a creative writing course in college.
In his own words, his grades in class were “horrible” but undeterred he continued to write completing his first novel, The Temple of Gold in 1956. Goldman wrote the novel in under three weeks, he sent the novel to his agent who agreed to publish if he doubled the novel in length, it was successful published and started the author’s writing career. 50 weeks later he would start his second novel, Your Turn to Curtsy, My Turn to Bow completed in little over a week.
In 1973 Goldman would write what would become known as his most beloved work, The Princess Bride. It’s no coincidence that the novel coincided with the writer contracting pneumonia and being hospitalised for months, something he attributed his burst of creativity to.
In total, Goldman wrote sixteen novels, ten nonfiction books, a children’s book, and five collections of short stories, and that was just his literary work. He also wrote and produced many screenplays, stage shows and television shows, but will always be remembered as the man who created The Princess Bride.
William Goldman died in New York on November 16th 2018 of complications from cancer. He was 87 years old.