A Guide to the Gary Cartwright Papers, 1981-1999
Gary Cartwright was born August 10, 1934 in Dallas, Texas, and raised in nearby Arlington. He received a B.A. in journalism and government from Texas Christian University in 1957. Cartwright reported the police beat for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from 1956 until he was hired away in 1958 to the Fort Worth Press, where he joined Dan Jenkins and Bud Shrake in the sports department under legendary Texas sportswriter Blackie Sherrod. In 1960, Cartwright moved to the Dallas Times Herald as a sports reporter and in 1963 he joined the Dallas Morning News to write his own sports column. Cartwright's first book, a football novel entitled The Hundred Yard War, was published in 1967 at which point he left newspaper work to become a freelance writer. His work has appeared in The Texas Observer, Esquire, Saturday Review, Rolling Stone and Texas Monthly.
Cartwright has been associated with Texas Monthly magazine since its inception in 1973. His articles range over various topics--crime, notable Texans, Texas culture, travel, sports and international travel. A collection of his Texas Monthly articles can be found in Confessions of a Washed-up Sportswriter. The true-crime books Blood Will Tell and Dirty Dealing began as articles for Texas Monthly. In 1988, Cartwright had a heart attack that required quintuple-bypass surgery. A suggestion by Governor Ann Richards to document changes in his life since the injury led to his latest book, HeartWiseGuy.
Among the many honors Cartwright has received for his writing are the Texas Institute of Letters' Stanley Walker Award for Journalism for "The Endless Odyssey of Patrick Henry Polk" (Texas Monthly, May 1977) and the Press Club of Dallas Katie Award for Best Magazine News Story for "The Work of the Devil" (Texas Monthly, June 1989). Cartwright has written screenplays in collaboration with Edwin (Bud) Shrake, including J. W. Coop (1972) and Another Pair of Aces (CBS-TV, 1990).
The Gary Cartwright papers date from 1981 to 2000 and are organized into five series: 1.) Books, 2.) Plays, screenplays, and song lyrics, 3.) Articles, 4.) Correspondence, and 5.) Clippings. Included are handwritten notes, clippings, tear sheets, brochures, a cassette tape, drafts and galley proofs. The material describes the research and editing involved in Cartwright's writing process.
See also Accession Numbers 88-052 and 90-071 for photographs of the author taken by Bill Wittliff.
Series I: Books, 1988-1999, n.d. This series is arranged chronologically by publication, with an unpublished title at the end. The first subseries is for the book, Galveston, a History of the Island. These files contain research material and an annotated typescript for the book. The files are organized according to the author's filing system, primarily in chronological order. They contain articles, clippings, handwritten notes, newsletters, brochures and tear sheets. There is information on social life, prominent Galveston families, ethnic groups and major events such as the 1900 hurricane. See also Accession No. 92-044, 1991 galleys addressed to Bill Wittliff from Lee Goerner at Atheneum.
Material for the second book in this series, HeartWise Guy, spans 1988-1999. These files contain research material, drafts, annotated typescripts, and page proofs. The files are organized according to the author's filing system. They contain articles, clippings, handwritten notes, newsletters, brochures and tear sheets. Topics include aging, lifestyle, diet, medicine, sex, and spirituality. Also included is a letter from Larry McMurtry commenting on his long post-surgery depression following a heart attack.
Materials for Blood will Tell are limited to only correspondence and clippings. And the unpublished title, “Black Pearls,” or “Dark Pearls,” is represented by an annotated typescript.
Series II: Plays, Screenplays and Song Lyrics, 1981-1991. This series contains material on screenplays in collaboration with Bud Shrake. There are handwritten song lyrics for Shrake's "Pancho Villa's Wedding Day" and one draft and two scripts of "RIP" on which the 1991 teleplay "Another Pair of Aces" was based. Also included is a ditty hastily composed by Gary Cartwright with Larry L. King late one night in New York City
See also Accession No. 88-033, 90-059, 91-007 for other material on "RIP" in the Bud Shrake and Bill Wittliff papers and Accession No. 92-061 for a Cartwright teleplay written for the Ned Blessing series.
Series III: Articles, 1985-1999 This series is primarily composed of drafts and galley proofs for articles written for Texas Monthly. There is a good deal of research material for the 1987 article on the murder of a San Antonio policeman, "Total Hit." The articles report on crime, sports, food and prominent Texans. The files are arranged by date of publication when known.
Articles not written for Texas Monthly are arranged in the subseries, General. This set of articles includes national and international sports culture and travel, and honest and dishonest personalities in Texas culture, art, prisons, and politics. An unpublished article on whistle blowing within several large federal law enforcement agencies is also included.
Series IV: Correspondence, 1977-1998 This series contains correspondence regarding Cartwright’s writing projects and those of others. The letters are arranged alphabetically. Notable correspondents include Bill Broyles, Cartwright family members, A.C. Greene, Stephen Harrigan, Ann Richards, and Bud Shrake as well as Playboy Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Texas Monthly.
Series V: Clippings, 1976-1983 This series contains newspaper clippings related to Cartwright’s work.
Open for research.
Gifts donated by Gary and Phyllis Cartwright since 1989.
Gwynedd Cannan, 1992, Guy Doré, 2000. [inventory revised, 2004]
Detailed Description of the Collection