Gold was born in Cleveland, Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...
, and raised in Lakewood
Lakewood is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area, and borders the city of Cleveland. The population was 52,131 at the 2010 making it the third largest city in Cuyahoga County, behind Cleveland and Parma .Lakewood, one of Cleveland's...
, a community he was later to memorialize in his first book, Birth of a Hero
, published in 1951 by Viking Press
Viking Press is an American publishing company owned by the Penguin Group, which has owned the company since 1975. It was founded in New York City on March 1, 1925, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim...
. He moved to New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
at age 17 after several of his poems had been accepted by New York literary magazines. While there, he studied philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...
at Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
and became involved with the burgeoning Beat Generation
The Beat Generation refers to a group of American post-WWII writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired...
, which resulted in a lifelong friendship with writer Allen Ginsberg
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...
Gold won a Fulbright Scholarship
The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. Under the...
and moved to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
, where he finished his first novel. After that, he moved around as he wrote, traveling to Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...
and Detroit, and hitchhiking all over the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
. He married Edith Zubrin and had two daughters with her, Ann Gold (b. 1950) and Judith Gold (b. 1952). They later divorced, and he finally settled in San Francisco
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...
, where he became an important fixture in the literary scene.
(Vol. 6), was published in the Winter of 1964 with an interview of Herbert Gold by Gordon Lish
Gordon Jay Lish is an American writer. As a literary editor, he championed many American authors, particularly Raymond Carver, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel, and Richard Ford.-Early life and family:...
Gold was married to Melissa Dilworth and had three children with her: daughter Nina Gold and twin boys Ari and Ethan. After they divorced, she became involved with concert promoter Bill Graham
Bill Graham was an American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death.-Early life:...
, dying in the helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...
crash that took Graham's life in 1991.
He is a father of five (Ann, Judith, Nina, Ari, and Ethan), and a grandfather of six (Sarah, Sasha, and David Buscho, children of Ann; Sonia and Nora Heidenreich, daughters of Judith; and Ella, daughter of Nina).
- Birth of a Hero (1951)
- The Prospect Before Us (1954)
- The Man Who Was Not with It (1956) ISBN 0-912697-69-5
- The Optimist (1959)
- Fathers: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir (1967) ISBN 0-87795-550-6
- The Magic Will (1973) (short stories)
- The Young Prince and the Magic Cone (1973) ISBN 0-385-01519-4
- He/She (1980) ISBN 0-87795-264-7
- Bohemia (1994) ISBN 0-671-76781-X
- Haiti - Best Nightmare on Earth (2001) ISBN 0-7658-0733-5
- Still Alive!: A Temporary Condition (A Memoir)(2008) ISBN 1-55970-870-0
- Herbert Gold in News from the Republic of Letters
News from the Republic of Letters is the third magazine collaboration between Saul Bellow and Keith Botsford, following Noble Savage and ANON. The journal, originally based in Boston and now operated from the editor's home in Costa Rica, publishes new and newly-discovered writings from American and...