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Gary Cartwright


Photograph of Gary Cartwright by Bill Wittliff, 1988.

Acclaimed Texas journalist and author Gary Cartwright began donating his papers to the Southwestern Writers Collection/The Wittliff Collections in 1989.

Listed below is an archival inventory of the Gary Cartwright holdings. The inventory is also available as PDF. Following that is a list of unprocessed accessions. Note that access to unprocessed materials is granted on a case-by-case basis.

The Gary Cartwright Addition, a collection acquired from the Austin History Center in 2009, is also available.

Please contact the Archivist for details about access to the Gary Cartwright Collection.

Initial inventory

Gary Cartwright Papers, 1981-1999 Collection 001

7 linear feet
16 boxes

Acquisition: Gifts donated by Gary and Phyllis Cartwright from 1989-1999.

Access: Open for Research.

Processed by: Gwynedd Cannan, 1992, Guy Doré, 2000. [inventory revised, 2004]

Biographical Note

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).

Scope and Contents

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 DescriptionsSeries I: Books, 1988-1999, n.d. Boxes 1-4, 8-11, 14

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, HeartWiseGuy, 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.

Boxes 4-5, 14-15

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
Boxes 5-7, 11-13

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

Boxes 15-16

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

Box 16

This series contains newspaper clippings related to Cartwright’s work.

Container List
Box Folder

Series I: Books, 1988-1999, n.d.

Galveston, a History of the Island, 1988-1991.

1 1-3 Handwritten notes
4 The Saccarappa, Galveston Historical Foundation
5 Empire Life Involuntary Petition
6 Moody
7 Open Beaches
8-10 Galveston Mardi Gras & General
11 Barrier Islands
12 Karankawas & Cabeza de Vaca

2 1 Lafitte (Jean)
2 Republic of Texas
3 Civil War
4-5 Cuney & Blacks
6-7 Gilded Age (1860-1900)
8 Seawall/Grade Raising
9 Rabbi Cohen/Galveston Movement

3 1 1880-1890
2 1880-1890--Albert Lasker/Jack Johnson
3 1900 Hurricane and lesser blows
4 After 1900
5 Moody, Kempner, Sealy
6 Partners in Progress & Sociological Studies
7 Gambling, Whoring 1920s-1957
8 Kempners

4 1-4 Moodys 1860-1960
5 Blacks
6 Moodys 1980s
7 Interviews & Name
8 Gaido & other interviews
9 GHF Galveston Historical Foundation

14 3-5 Annotated typescript

Box Folder
Series I: Books, continued

HeartWiseGuy, 1988-1999.

Research Files

8 1 Aging
2 Alternatives
3 American Heart Association
4 Anti-Aging Therapies
5 Anti-Oxidants
6 Attitude / Spiritual
7 Diet and Nutrition

9 1 Dr. Blevins
2 Dr. Charles Wilkins
3 Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking
4 Exercise
5 Health / Medical
6 Herbs / Medicinal
7 Hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, impotence…
8 Love / Sex
9 Misc. Clippings
10 Pacemaker
11 Research
12 Sex (Dr. Kaufman)

13 Correspondence with Larry McMurtry


10 1 Typescript with Dr. Blevins’ edits
2-3 Annotated typescript
4-5 Page proofs

Blood Will Tel

11 1 Correspondence
2 Clippings

Black Pearls / Dark Pearls (Unpublished)

3-4 Annotated typescript

Box Folder

Series II: Plays, Screenplays and Song Lyrics, 1981-1991

Works by Cartwright

4 10-11 Pancho Villa's Wedding Day


5 1 Script

14 6 Script
7 Draft
8 Shooting schedule

15 1 Clippings

5 2 Songs

Works Others (Based on or Inspired by Cartwright’s Work)

15 2 “Another Pair of Aces” by Rob Gilmer (2 typescripts)
3 “Santos and Santos” by Octavio Solis

Series III: Articles, 1985-1999

Texas Monthly Articles, 1985-1989.

5 3 H. R. Bum Bright, Austin American Statesman, July 7, 1985
Port galley proof
4 The Last Roundup, February 1985
5 An Aggie's Revenge, August 1985
6 The Final Gun, September 1985
7 Hugh Roy Cullen's Last Hurrah, January 1986
8 Range Warrior, January 1986
9 The Snootiest Neighborhood in Texas, June 1986
10 Touch Me, Feel Me, Heal Me, December 1986
11 Total Hit, January 1987
12-14 Cops (Total Hit), January 1987

6 1-6 Cops (Total Hit), January 1987
7 Lifestyles, Home Ain't Where My Heart Is, March 1987
8 The Longest Ride of His Life, May 1987
9 Texas Primer: Clint Murchison, Jr., June1987

Box Folde

Series III: Articles, continued

Texas Monthly Articles, continued

7 1 The Sleaziest Man in Texas, August 1987
2 Cooking: I, Piscivore, September 1987
3 Paradise Lost, October 1987
4 Everyone a Victim, November 1987
5 An Old Five and Dimer, February 1988
6 Newspapers (unpublished)
7 Search and Destroy, March 1989
8 Poisoned with Love, May 1989
9 The Work of the Devil, June 1989
10 How George Foreman Finally Beat Muhammed Ali,

October 1989
11 Old Salts and Ancient Mariners, October 1989
12 Mean (unpublished)

Articles, General, 1992-1999

11 5 Dawson, George, December 1998
6 Diary of a Minor Mogul, June 1996
7 Golfsmith / Karl Paul, 1997
8 Marsh, Stanley, March 1978

12 1 Masters Tickets, February 1998
2 McDuff, Kenneth, August 1992
3-4 Mexican Road Race, 1999
5 Moscow / National Geographic, 1999

13 1-6 Moscow / National Geographic, 1999
7 Old Five and Dimer
8 The Query, 1995-1998
9 Red Rock, December 1999
10 TCU Press / Galveston notes / One Last Shot 1993, 1998

14 1 Thornton, Peter, March 1999
2 Wall Street Journal / The Final Four, 1997-1998

Series IV: Correspondence, 1977-1998.
15 4 A’s
5 Adams, Randall Dale
6 Atheneum

Box Folder
Series IV: Correspondence, continued
15 7 B’s
8 Broyles, Bill
9 C’s
10 Cartwright, Marge
11 Cartwright, Shea
12 Chagra, Vivian
13 Cinco Puntos Press, Apr 98
14 Covert, Jean
15 Crowder, A. Don
16 Donovan, C.
17 Dorman, Michael
18 Emert, V.
19 Forbes magazine
20 Francis, Kevin
21 Glick, Allen
22 Green, Carl H.
23 Greene, A.C.
24 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
25 Harrigan, Stephen
26 Haessler, George
27 ICM
28 Jensen
29 Jones, Bea
30 Kemper, William Priest
31 Kessler, Denise

16 1 L’s
2 M’s
3 Marsh, Stanley
4 Martin, Bill
5 Mellett, Tom
6 Mays, Prissy
7 Mohler, Pat
8 P’s
9 Playboy Magazine
10 Progress Publishers
11 R’s
12 “Red, Ida”
13 Richards, Ann
14 Rinehart, John Paul
15 Rolling Stone

Box Folder
Series IV: Correspondence, continued

16 16 S’s
17 Sherrick, Lew
18 Shrake, Bud
19 Steinberg, Jo-Ann
20 Stephenson, (Tom?)
21 Texas Institute of Letters
22 Texas Monthly
23 Texas Monthly Press
24 Thompson, Leslie, 1998
25 Universal Life Church
26 University of Texas at Arlington
27 W’s
28 Walk of the Stars
29 Weatherholt, Monty
30 Williams, Harold R.
31 Wyatt, Wyatt
32 Wyoming, Leo
33 No last name
16 34-35 Series V: Clippings, General, 1976-1983.

Additional materials donated by Cartwright:

Accession 2001-009
An address to the graduation class of Texas A&M University at Galveston, December 16, 2000. Signed by Gary Cartwright.

Accession 2001-109
Two annotated and edited manuscripts, Turn Out the Lights by Gary Cartwright.

Accession 2007-119
Original file titles appear in quotation marks and care has been taken to keep materials in the original order. There is yellowing of much of the paper and some fading of facsimile sheets although no sign of pest infestation or moisture damage is visible.

Box 882 folder 1
“Cowboys 60s – 70s” – handwritten notes, some correspondence, photocopies of various newspaper clippings, all relating to the Dallas Cowboys football team.

Box 882 folder 2
“Horny Toad” – notes, travel receipts, newspaper clippings, and the book Ye Legendary Texas Horned Frog! by June Rayfield Welch.

Box 882 folder 3
“Horned Toad” – various newspaper clippings about the toad, Texas Highways magazine May 1993 and the August 1988 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Box 882 folder 4
“Insights to Good Writing/Reporting (Richard Opal)” – July 1997 issue of Austin Writer.

Box 882 folder 5
“Galveston” – limited correspondence, photocopies of pages from books about Galveston, Texas.

Box 882 folder 6
“Sam Blair” – announcement of his retirement and a newspaper clipping.

Box 882 folder 7
“Vacation & Travel (clippings) National Geographic Traveler” – correspondence and newspaper clippings.

Box 882 folder 8
“GQ” – correspondence and travel records for “Mexican Race” article for GQ Magazine and newspaper clippings.

Box 882 folder 9
“Blackie” – notes, drafts, and newspaper clippings related to Blackie Sherrod.

Box 882 folder 10
“Italy” – travel catalogs, photos, and the July 1996 issue of The Retired Officer magazine.

Box 882 folder 11
“Mexico 2001” – travel information on Guanajuato, San Miguel, and the wedding of Allison Wittliff and Vince Spencer.

Box 882 folder 12
“Galveston” – travel and rental information.

Box 882 folder 13
“Blood Will Tell” part two by T. S. Cook based on the book by Cartwright, first revised draft October 17, 1993.

Box 882 folder 14
“Blood Will Tell” revised second draft March 2, 1993.

Box 882 folder 15
“Blood Will Tell” part one, first revised draft October 17, 1993.

Box 882 folder 16
“Blood Will Tell” first draft July 1993 part 2.

Box 882 folder 17
“Rip” an original screenplay by Bud Shrake and Gary Cartwright, second draft May 24, 1989.

Box 882 folder 18
“Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind” – screenplay by Rob Gilmer and newspaper clipping.

Box 882 folder 19
(from untitled binder) draft of a screenplay with a character named “Lucky”.

Box 882 folder 20
(from untitled binder) draft of a screenplay with a character named “Lucky”, includes several pages of notes.

Box 882 folder 21
Various material not in a folder including several drafts and newspaper clippings.

Box 882 folder 22
“Blood Will Tell” – correspondence, payment statements and newspaper clippings about book.

Box 882 folder 23
“Texas Justice Blood Will Tell” – reviews of the TV movie Texas Justice based on Cartwright’s Blood Will Tell.

Box 882 folder 24
“Travel” – newspaper clippings and travel information on various locations.

Box 882 folder 25
“C.A.S.T.” – drafts of column by Cartwright about organization, newspaper clippings and other information such as history and list of committee members.

Box 882 folder 26
“Texas General Interest” – photocopy of articles about Texas Monthly and Texas the state.

Box 882 folder 27
“Maps” – various roadmaps including a map of the solar system.

Box 883 folder 1
“Burden of Evil” – legal pad and loose sheets of hand written notes.

Box 883 folder 2
“Burden of Evil” – drafts of Expatriates”, photocopies from book Swastika Over Paris, notes, and newspaper clippings.

Box 883 folder 3
“Pancho y Billy” – parts of screenplay by the same name, scene sketches and newspaper clippings.

Box 883 folder 4
“Canada” – travel information such as maps and brochures and some travel receipts.

Box 883 folder 5
“Requiem for Robin Hood” – contract between Cartwright and Phoenix Literary Agency.

Box 883 folder 6
“1980- Letter Rec’d. (misc)” – correspondence, newspaper clippings and several book covers for Blood Will Tell.

Box 883 folder 7
“Greg Ott Mail” – letters to Cartwright in response to 1978 article on the death of Texas Ranger and the accused Greg Ott.

Box 883 folder 8
“Shel Hershorn” – photocopy of article about Hershorn and correspondence from.

Box 883 folder 9
“Chicago” – magazine Where Chicago and map.

Box 883 folder 10
Untitled (not in folder) – drafts of dog fighting article by Cartwright, notes, correspondence, and a handbook by the Humane Society.

Box 883 folder 11
“Jaxon” – correspondence and photocopies of book excerpts.

Box 883 folder 12
“Cowboy & the Cat” – newspaper clippings, notes, drafts and correspondence relating to Cowboy & the Cat written with Bud Shrake.

Box 883 folder 13
Brief of Appellants from “Texas Monthly & Gary Cartwright vs Transamerica Natural Gas Corp.

Box 883 folder 14
“St. Pete/Romonovs” – notes, newspaper clippings, correspondence and July 6, 1998 issue of The New Yorker.

Box 883 folder 15
“Clips/Archives” – newspaper clipping with letter and booklet The Hills: Arlington’s African-American Communities.

Box 883 folder 16
“Judgement Jack Stanley Lawsuit” [Transamerican Gas] – Court of Appeals Judgement for a rehearing on Texas Monthly vs Transamerican Gas.

Box 883 folder 17
“Army Suicide”- drafts of article by Cartwright Strange Army Suicide.

Box 883 folder 18
(Not in folder) list of story ideas May 15, 2000.

Box 883 folder 19
“Gemini Ink” – 1999 summer catalog for Gemini Ink workshops, newspaper clippings and a list of story ideas, February 1999.

Box 883 folder 20
“Speech” – speech for the dedication of the Emma Ousley Jr. High School.

Box 883 folder 21
“Inmates Letters” – correspondence from inmates, mainly asking Cartwright for help to prove they are innocent.

Box 883 folder 22
“Biz Letters” – various correspondence mainly from 1999 to 2001.

Box 883 folder 23
“Personal letters” – correspondence from 1997 to 2001 including the memorial speech for Vera Nelson Cartwright.

Box 883 folder 24
“Correspondence 2002” – correspondents and subject vary; dates from 2002 to 2005.

Box 883 folder 25
“DeGuerin” – notes and copies of articles about the defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin and cases.

Box 884 folder 1
“Aunt Dot/Family Archives” – documents relating to the estate of Valeria S. Guokas.

Box 884 folder 2
From untitled folder – notes and newspaper clippings on Warren Burnett.

Box 884 folder 3
“Lois Chiles” – two color 8” x 10” photos of a couple, photos unmarked.

Box 884 folder 4
“Reading/Speeches/Book Festival” – correspondence and essays.

Box 884 folder 5
“Turn Out the Lights ‘reviews, etc”- copies of reviews from file of UT Press on Cartwright’s book.

Box 884 folder 6
“May 6, 2002 Top Magazine Stories” – photocopies of various articles from 2001 – 2002.

Box 884 folder 7
“Cowboy & the Cat”- option purchase agreement, correspondence, article from Texas Monthly titled “Benny and the Boys”.

Box 884 folder 8
“RIP” – handwritten notes and an original screenplay by Bud Shrake and Cartwright.

Box 884 folder 9
“Galveston Promotion” – correspondence, newspaper clippings, promotional postcards and ten photos.

Box 884 folder 10
“Another Pair of Aces III” – notes and draft of act one.

Box 884 folder 11
From untitled folder, several sketches of “Captain Generic”.

Box 884 folder 12
“Texas Institute of Letters Correspondence” – dates from 1982 to 1991.

Box 884 folder 13
“Billy Lee” – front cover plus article about Billy Lee Brammer from the Austin Chronicle March 26, 1993.

Box 884 folder 14
“Ann Richards” – article on Richards from Vogue August 1991 and a postcard from Richards to the Cartwrights.

Box 884 folder 15
“Oaxaca 1995” – mainly maps with a few other pieces of travel and hotel information.

Box 884 folder 16
“Mexico” – notes and newspaper clippings.

Box 884 folder 17
“1988 Heart Attack” – photocopy of Cartwright’s heart diagram from Brackenridge Hospital.

Box 884 folder 18
“Levy & Texas Monthly” – article in Dallas Observer 1999 on Texas Monthly and a large promotional flyer from Texas Monthly.

Box 884 folder 19
“Bud” – article about authors including Bud Shrake.

Box 884 folder 20
“Pancho y Billy” – invitation to a staged reading of Pancho, Billy and Esmerelda.

Box 884 folder 21
“National Geographic” – contract with Cartwright for article.

Box 884 folder 22
“More Dirty Dealing” – contract for the movie rights and newspaper clipping.

Box 884 folder 23
“Heart Wise Guy Tour & Clips”- newspaper clippings on book, book cover sample, and 8” x 10” color photo of Cartwright.

Box 884 folder 24
“2 Rip Off Review (MD Shafter)” – two issues of The Rip Off Review of Western Culture.

Box 884 folder 25
“TCU Press/Galveston” – contract and newspaper review of Galveston.

Box 884 folder 26
“Bill McCauley Walt Buster Al Kidwell” – newspaper clippings on artists and one color photo.

Box 884 folder 27
“Jan Reid” – newspaper clippings and correspondence relating to the shooting of Reid and the “Jan Reid Rescue Fund”.

Box 884 folder 28
“Trinity River” – notes, newpaper clippings and newsletters.

Box 884 folder 29
“Texas Parks and Wildlife” – notes, expense reports, and draft for the Galveston Bay story.

Box 884 folder 30
May/June 1995 issue of Aura of Dallas Fort Worth magazine with Cartwright on cover.

Box 884 folder 31
“Montana” – one 8” x 10” color photo (two men on a boat holding up a fish), maps and other travel information.

Box 884 folder 32
“DC & NYC 2004” –maps, correspondence, and travel receipts.

Box 884 folder 33
“Westminister 05” – newspaper clippings and 2005 Guide and Record Book of the Westminister Kennel Club.

Box 884 folder 34
“Mean Stories” – notes, newspaper clippings, and drafts of essay Texas Mean.

Box 884 folder 35
“LA Trip Feb. 1994, 1995” – notes and maps

Box 884 folder 36
“Dirty Dealing re-issue epilogue” – newspaper clippings, notes, and February 1997 issue of Texas Monthly.

Box 885 folder 1
“100 Years of Texas Sports” – correspondence, notes, and newspaper clippings.

Box 885 folder 2
“New Mexico Maps Taos, Santa Fe, Alq” – maps and February 1981 issue of High Country Profile: A Guide to Taos and Northern New Mexico.

Box 885 folder 3
“84 San Francisco” – maps and brochures.

Box 885 folder 4
“Los Angeles 1994” – map.

Box 885 folder 5
“Spain Fall 2000” – newspaper clippings.

Box 885 folder 6
“Travel” – maps and brochures from different places.

Box 885 folder 7
“Chicago Trip 2003” – maps and travel receipts.

Box 885 folder 8
“Blackie Art Work” – forty-nine small photos and one 8” x 10” color photo of various paintings by Blackie Sherrod.

Box 885 folder 9
“Rip Contract” – contract with Once Upon a Time Films, Shrake and Cartwright.

Box 885 folder 10
“Pair of Aces II” – agreements with ICM and newspaper clipping. SENSITIVE INFO-Cartwright’s SS#.

Box 885 folder 11
“Galveston Book” – royalty statement.

Box 885 folder 12
“JW Coop Lawsuit” – letter from Cliff Robertson refuting claims by Shrake and Cartwright.

Box 885 folder 13
“Blood Will Tell” – agreements with Simon & Schuster and ICM.

Box 885 folder 14
“Dirty Dealings” – agreement with Cinco Puntos Press.

Box 885 folder 15
“1998 Dirty Dealings” – correspondence with Cinco Puntos Press, mock-up of book cover and newspaper clipping.