Ed Gorman, 74, died Friday, October 14, of multiple myeloma. He lived most of his life in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Jefferson High School and attending Coe College on a playwriting scholarship. He worked in advertising for over twenty years. Ed married Cathleen Stevens in 1964. They were later divorced. In 1982, he married Carol Maxwell Johnson.
Ed was a lover of reading. He read everybody: Mickey Spillane, Isaac Asimov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Shakespeare. He sold his first piece of writing at fifteen, and by the time he was forty, he had sold over a hundred short stories and articles. He reviewed mystery novels for the Cedar Rapids Gazette for many years. His first novel was published in 1984, and that was followed by 140 books, mostly mystery, suspense, and western novels. Ellery Queen called Ed “One of suspense fiction’s best storytellers,” and the San Diego Union described him as “one of the most original voices in today’s crime fiction.” His short stories appeared in magazines as diverse as Redbook, Ellery Queen, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Poetry Today. His writing won numerous prizes, including the Shamus, the Spur, and the International Fiction Writer’s award. He was nominated for the Edgar, the Anthony, the Golden Dagger, and the Bram Stoker awards.
Ed and Robert Randisi created Mystery Scene magazine, and with best friend, Martin H. Greenberg, Ed co-edited over a hundred anthologies of short stories.
Ed is survived by his mother, Bernadine Gorman Hixenbaugh; his wife, Carol; his son, Joseph Gorman (Mitsue) and his stepson, Ben Johnson (Joanne). He is also survived by his brother, Dan Gorman (Dori); sister, Julie Lawrence (Lynn); and six grandchildren, Shannon, P.J., Reagan, Maggie Gorman; and Kate and Charlotte Johnson.
Ed’s family would like to thank the staff at the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center for their loving care, particularly Dr. Leila Kutteh, Traci Ridgway, and Jessica Current; Dr. David Dingli at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; and everyone at Hospice of Mercy, especially Kendra Mensen, Kim Leytem, Cindy Staton, and Rick Zingher. Special thanks to Kathy Dickerson. Without her generous help, Ed would not have been able to stay at home, which he wanted more than anything else.
As Ed requested, no memorial service will held. But friends are invited to join Ed’s family at Coe College’s Perrine Gallery (second floor, Stewart Memorial Library) on Saturday, October 29 at 2 p.m. A podium and mic will be set up for sharing stories about Ed.
Ed’s family is establishing a fund at Coe College for a recurring “Ed Gorman Celebration of Popular Fiction.” A writer of mainstream or genre fiction will be brought to campus to give a free public reading and to meet with creative writing students. If friends would like to help, donations may be sent to The Ed Gorman Fund, Coe College, 1220 First Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402. Attn: Megan Engler.