Temple Archives

Deen Kogan (center), owner of the Society Hill Playhouse, presented the first Jay and Deen Kogan Award to Temple University Libraries for its role in developing the David Goodis Archives. Larry Alford (left) is head of Temple University Libraries. Tom Whitehead (right) is head of Special Collections and manager of the David Goodis Archives. The award was presented on January 5, 2007 at Society Hill Playhouse, site of GoodisCON.

A small, but significant treasury of David Goodis data, is on deposit at the Special Collections department of Temple University's Paley Library in Philadelphia. The nucleus of the collection appears to have come from Robert K. Greenfield, the law partner of Samuel Goodis. The file includes a handwritten note by Anna Halprin, of Atlantic City, N.J., presumably a relative of David's mother, complaining that her daughter Anita was frustrated at their attempt to donate David's papers to Temple's new journalism library.

Greenfield remembers that Samuel Goodis was David's cousin, "lawyer and sometime advisor." Greenfield had been "only dimly aware of David and his occasional visit to see Samuel at the firm." When Samuel died, Greenfield "became senior partner of the law firm and assumed some of Samuel's responsibilities, including the David Goodis files." Greenfield explained that the "administration of the estate had been concluded but there continued to be a small flow of royalties on the copyrights of David's books."

"I read one or two of David's books that I found in the files. That set me off on a search that continued until I retired in 1987. I tracked down the films based on the books and collected all of the books I could find. When I retired, I gave the collection to the Temple Library."

The collection includes correspondence between New York counsel and the law firm of Goodis, Greenfield, Narin and Mann, which represented the Goodis Estate locally during the litigation over the Fugitive. Included in this file are the will and death certificate of David Goodis, and several income tax returns.


The collection includes:

Four photographs of David Goodis, including one taken with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall during the shooting of Dark Passage

A letter from David to his parents and Herb describing an evening with Jack Warner for the preview of the movie "The Unfaithful."

A story in the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting the filing of the law suit over The Fugitive, dated February 24, 1965

A story in the New York Times about the decision in The Fugitive case, dated March 11, 1970

An article in the Temple Alumni Review, dated October 1963

The Philadelphia Inquirer's obituary of David Goodis dated
January 9, 1967

Clippings about David Goodis at Simon Gratz High School

A newspaper article in which David Goodis analyses the Black Dahlia case

A short story by David Goodis entitled "Caravan to Tarim," published in Collier's Magazine dated, October 26, 1946

An by Laurence Withers, entitled "The Mysterious Elaine," published in the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine, dated September 23, 2001, describing the marriage of David Goodis and Elaine Astor

The Temple Archive includes four articles describing his lifestyle in Hollywood and Philadelphia. These articles portray David Goodis as eccentric, contradicting the characterization by Harold "Dutch" Silver. I doubt if these writers ever met David Goodis.

An article entitled "David Goodis: A Life in Black and White," by James Sallis, published in the Armchair Detective, dated Spring 1993

An article entitled "Goodis Triumphant," by Margot Miller, published in Philadelphia Magazine, dated November 1991

An article entitled "David Goodis: The American Dream in Reverse," by Laurence Miller, dated June 1999

An article entitled "Missing Persons: David Goodis," by Meredith Brody, published in Film Comment, dated October 1984

The only book written about David Goodis,
Goodis La Vie en Noir et Blanc, by Philippe Garmier (Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1984), is in the Temple Archive. The book is written in French. Skimming the book, I realized that Garmier had visited the Register of Wills office in City Hall and the Temple Archive. More than 20 years ago, he used some of the sources which I used on this website. Mr. Garmier interviewed relatives and acquaintences of David Goodis. I did not see a reference to Superior Billiards.

The Temple Archive includes photostatic copies of the following novels by David Goodis:

Black Friday,
1954, Lion Edition

The Burglar,
1953, Lion Edition

Cassidy's Girl,
1951, Gold Medal Books

Fire in the Flesh,
1957, Gold Medal Books

The Moon in the Gutter,
1953, Gold Medal Books

Night Squad,
1961, Gold Medal Books

Of Missing Persons,
1950, Morrow

Of Tender Sin,
1956, Gold Medal Books

Shoot the Piano Player,
1956, Grove Press, Inc.

Somebody's Done For,
1967, A Banner Book

Street of No Return,
1961, Gold Medal Books

Street of the Lost,
1952, Gold Medal Books

The Wounded and the Slain,
1955, Gold Medal Books