Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright received his B.A. in journalism from Texas Christian University. He has had a distinguished career as a newspaper reporter and as a freelance writer, contributing stories to such national publications as Harper’s, Life, and Esquire. He was a senior editor at Texas Monthly for 25 years until his retirement in 2010 at age 76. Cartwright was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 1986 in the category of reporting excellence. He has been the recipient of a Dobie-Paisano fellowship and has won the Texas Institute of Letters Stanley Walker Award for Journalism and the Carr P. Collins Award for nonfiction. He won the 1989 Press Club of Dallas Katie Award for Best Magazine News Story. He also won the 2005 Headliner Club of Austin award for best magazine story. Cartwright has written several books, including Blood Will Tell, Confessions of a Washed-up Sportswriter, Dirty Dealing, and Galveston: A History of the Island, published in 1991. He has co-written three movie scripts, J. W. Coop (Columbia, 1972); A Pair of Aces (CBS-TV, 1990), which he also co-produced; and Pancho, Billy and Esmerelda, which he co-produced for his own production company in 1994. In addition, he co-produced Another Pair of Aces for CBS. Blood Will Tell was filmed by CBS-TV as a four-hour miniseries in 1994. In 1998 his book, HeartWiseGuy, was published.

Articles by Gary Cartwright

Free to Kill

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

Once, the State of Texas was going to put Kenneth McDuff to death as payment for his crimes. Instead, it set him free to murder again.

Writing Life

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

The long, slow, quiet, thoughtful, weird, brilliant, often-interrupted, never-compromised career of John Graves, who died July 30, 2013.

Consider the Oyster

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

If you’re a half shell fanatic like me, you’ll be just as alarmed as I was to hear that oystermen in Galveston Bay—the source of some of the country’s most delicious mollusks —are still struggling to make it after Hurricane Ike.

You Aren’t Here

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

The very spot where William Barrett Travis wrote his famous “victory or death” letter is a Ripley’s Haunted Adventures. And other ways gross commercialization has desecrated the Alamo’s sacred battleground site.

Nothing To It

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

Bolstered by his favorite phrase, my son Mark faced life with grace, dignity, and good humor. I knew he’d face death the same way.

The Case of the Persecuted Prosecutor

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

More than anyone, former assistant to the U.S. attorney Bill Johnston was responsible for exposing the FBI’s lies about the final assault on the Branch Davidian compound. Why, then, did his own government go after him?

The Devil and Mr. Jones

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

How about those Cowboys? Ever since the team's egotistical owner, Jerry Jones, fired coach Jimmy Johnson in a fit of pique, the 'Boys have never been on a slippery slope to perdition. But it's die-hard fans like me who are in hell.

—30—

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

Blackie Sherrod probably hates the word "retired," but that's what he is now—and newspaper readers across Texas are the poorer for it.

Game Over

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

Sure, sure, the newspaper business is dying, and this is bad for freedom, accountability, and democracy itself. But worst of all is what’s happened to sportswriting.

Remains of the Day

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

The Texas State Cemetery, home to the final resting places of the celebrated and the notorious, is a walk through time, revealing all that is great, courageous, tragic, pompous, and absurd about Texas.

One Last Shot

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

Decades after his family controlled Galveston’s liquor and gambling, 89-year-old Vic Maceo is clinging to his gangster past—and to his pistol.

Rose to the Occasion

Jan 1, 2011 By Gary Cartwright

For longtime TCU fans, the Rose Bowl was a reminder of being snubbed in the school’s heyday. With the victory over Wisconsin, the Horned Frogs have shaken off the ghosts of the past—and taken their rightful place on the national stage.

Gone to New York

Oct 31, 2009 By Gary Cartwright

Bud Shrake’s letters to friends back in Texas during his years in New York show the late novelist in all his ribald, freewheeling glory. And never more alive.

Last Rights

Sep 30, 2009 By Gary Cartwright

The tragic case of Lloyd and Kim Yarbrough raises an old question: Why doesn’t the decision to die belong to the person who is dying?

Ghosts Of War

Mar 31, 2009 By Gary Cartwright

Happy Texas Independence Day! Read five stories about our state's history, including this piece about the battlegrounds of Texas, which tell an incredible story of struggle, sorrow, triumph, and terror.

Pasó por Aquí

Dec 1, 2006 By Gary Cartwright

José Cisneros, the legendary illustrator of the Spanish Southwest, is 96, almost blind, and nearly deaf. And, of course, he has no plans to put down his pen.

Main Squeeze Blues

Aug 31, 2006 By Gary Cartwright

Saying good-bye to my dear Phyllis was the hardest thing I’ve ever done—and losing her so suddenly didn’t make it any easier. But I know I’ll see her again someday.

The Rookie

Apr 30, 2006 By Gary Cartwright

Having suffered through the ineptitudes of the Texas Rangers for nearly three and a half decades, having sat as solemn witness to their stumbling pretenses to be major league material, I assume that the hiring of a 28-year-old to run the team is yet another mistake. Jon Daniels, prove me wrong.

The Beat Goes On

Apr 1, 2006 By Gary Cartwright

Coronary artery disease is an old and much-hated enemy of mine. The beast attacked me without warning in 1988 as I strolled with my Airedales along Austin’s Shoal Creek hike-and-bike trail. Last November—sacre bleu!—it got me again.

Perfect 10

Feb 1, 2006 By Gary Cartwright and Bud Shrake

The reviews of the Vince Young show are in—and, of course, they’re all raves. Gary Cartwright and Bud Shrake argue that the Texas quarterback is the best ever but wonder if his throwing motion is an obstacle to NFL greatness. Plus: Mack vs. “Delbert.”

The Lost City

Dec 1, 2005 By Gary Cartwright

A few of the streets near what used to be downtown have familiar names, but Arlington has mutated into a disconnected clump of shopping malls, cul-de-sacs, and gated communities, faceless, soulless neighborhoods that give urban sprawl a bad name.