Herb Gardner ’58
Manuscripts, artwork and ephemera documenting
the prolific career of author, artist and playwright Herb
Gardner ’58 were given to Antiochiana, the Department
of Archives and Special Collections for Antioch
University, by his widow, Barbara C. Sproul, in June
2004. Mr. Gardner died in September 2003. Included in
the donation are books, films, and music recordings Mr.
Gardner employed in his writing as well as the furnishings
of his Manhattan office. Antiochiana will recreate
that office to honor Mr. Gardner’s accomplishments and
to house his papers for the purpose of scholarly use.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1934, Herbert B.
Gardner entered Antioch College in 1953 as a transfer
student from Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie
Mellon University since 1967), and majored in creative
writing. Mr. Gardner’s output as an undergraduate gave
some indication of what was to come. A cartoonist for
the Antioch Record, he also appeared several times in
“The Antioch Magazine.” Even his cooperative education
jobs bespoke his talents, including one making
advertising figurines for a New York City brewing
company and another drawing animated cartoons for
children’s television. The latter position inspired “The
Man Who Thought He Was Winston Churchill,” Mr.
Gardner’s contribution to New Campus Writing, edited
by Antioch literature professors Nolan Miller and Judson
Jerome, and his first published short story. Though he
never completed his degree, Mr. Gardner maintained a
lifelong relationship with his alma mater and received
an honorary doctor of humane letters from Antioch in
Mr. Gardner began his artistic career as a sculptor of
nativity scenes for the Bliss Display Company in l953,
but found greater success two years later when he was
nineteen as a cartoonist of “The Nebbishes,” a strip
syndicated in more than 40 papers including the Chi
cago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los
Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, and The London
“A Thousand Clowns” (1962) was nominated for a
Tony Award for Best Play and Mr. Gardner won the
Variety Critics Poll as Outstanding New Playwright that
year. The “Goodbye People” (1968), “Thieves” (1974),
“I’m Not Rappaport” (l985), and “Conversations with
My Father” (1991) followed. “I’m Not Rappaport” won
the Outer Critics’ Award, the John Gassner Award and
the Tony Award for Best Play. “Conversations with My
Father” was the runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for
Drama in l992. Mr. Gardner’s work has been performed
by such actors as Jason Robards, Sandy Dennis, Tom
Selleck, Yves Montand, Barbara Harris, Dustin Hoffman,
Dom DeLuise, Charles Grodin, Marlo Thomas, Milton
Berle, Sam Levine, F. Murray Abraham, Judd Hirsch,
Cleavon Little, Paul Scofield, Walter Matthau and Ossie
Mr. Gardner’s plays have appeared throughout this
country as well in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil,
Canada, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Norway,
South Africa, the United Kingdom, Yugoslavia and
Zaire. They have been collected in Best American Plays
of 1961-1962, 1985-1986, and 1991-1992. The French
production of “A Thousand Clowns” won the Moliere
Award for Best Foreign Play in 1966 as did “I’m Not
Rappaport” in 1987.
Mr. Gardner’s one-act plays include “How I Crossed
the Street for the First Time All By Myself,” “The
Forever Game,” and “I’m With Ya, Duke,” which was
collected in the Best American Short Plays of 96-97.
Mr. Gardner also wrote the screenplays for “Who is
Harry Kellerman?” (1971) and “Thieves” (1976). For
his film adaptation of “A Thousand Clowns” (1965),
Mr. Gardner won Best Screenplay Award from the
Screenwriters Guild and received Academy Award nominations
for Best Screenplay and Best Picture of the Year.
He also adapted and directed “The Goodbye People”
(1983) and “I’m Not Rappaport” (1996) for the screen.
Professor Barbara Sproul is Chair of the Program in
Religion at Hunter College in New York City. She
applied to and was accepted to Antioch College in the
early 1960s, but attended Sarah Lawrence College and
Columbia University. She is a longtime officer of the
Riverside Group of Amnesty International, has served
on the AI National Board of Directors, and has represented
AIUSA at the international level.
Former Antioch students reunited at the Pacific
Northwest Labor History Conference in Eugene, Oregon.
The group consisted of Harry Stein ’59 (historian),
Marcus Widenor ’74 (labor educator), Betsy
Jameson ’70 (historian), Norm Diamond ’79 (faculty),
Andrew Barnes ’94 (union organizer) with daughter
The group would love to hear from other Antiochians
whose careers have led them to labor activism and scholarship.
Contact Marcus Widenor:
them how you have been active in the labor movement, how
your experience at Antioch shaped your decision to work in
the labor movement, and/or how other Antiochians you
know of have followed a similar path.
of Getty Grant
Antioch College is a recipient of a 2004 grant from
the Getty Grant Foundation. This $150,000 grant will
help the College develop a comprehensive preservation
plan for the campus that will focus on both the College’s
historic buildings and natural landscape.
The Campus Heritage Grants awarded by the Getty
Foundation help colleges and universities in the United
States to manage and preserve the integrity of their
significant historic buildings, sites, and landscapes.
With the support of The Getty Fund, Antioch College
will develop a comprehensive preservation plan for the
campus. Antioch will survey the conditions and critical
needs of campus buildings and cultural and natural
landscape and prepare extensive conservation analyses.
Through this work, the College will be given the tools
needed to make informed decisions about the
prioritization of the rehabilitation and renovation of key
buildings and landscapes.