Obituary: E.S. Goldman / Businessman and prolific writer

April 25, 1913 - March 4, 2013


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E.S. Goldman, a businessman, writer and member of a prominent Pittsburgh family, died Monday in Wellesley, Mass., weeks before his 100th birthday.

Mr. Goldman was one of three children of the late Morry Goldman, founder of the former Hughes & Hatcher clothing business. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pittsburgh, he worked in the advertising department at Kaufmann's Department Store, where he met his future wife, Virginia Harris.

He started his own ad agency in the 1930s with his sister, Bernice Preisser, and another partner. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mr. Goldman sold the business and joined the Navy, leaving his wife and infant son behind in Pittsburgh. He captained a mine sweeper and eagerly accepted an opportunity to captain one of the first African-American enlisted crews in the Navy.

After the war, he moved to New Jersey and worked in advertising in New York City. He sold the advertising business in the early 1960s and he and Virginia opened a gift shop in Cape Cod, Mass., called Tree's Place. They eventually moved the business to Orleans, Mass., to keep it open year-round.

Mr. Goldman wrote several books, including one about his experience growing up with a mentally handicapped brother and another about caring for his wife, who died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. His short stories, some of which were published in The Atlantic, included one selected for the 1988 edition of "Best American Short Stories." A 1990 collection of his stories, "Earthly Justice," received the prestigious William Goyen Prize for Fiction.

"Stan was also an inveterate letter writer -- a chronic thorn in the sides of editors, business leaders and public officials who rankled his sense of reason or ethics," wrote his nephew, Ted Preisser.

"Stan's naval experience prompted him to be a committed worker for racial equality all through the 1950s and '60s. He spent many years working to eliminate discriminatory housing practices, and to provide business advice to emerging African-American entrepreneurs," Mr. Preisser wrote.

Mr. Goldman is survived by son Richard of Boulder, Colo., daughter Susan of Woodstock, N.Y., four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held in the fall at Cape Cod.

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