Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright's Profile Photo

Gary Cartwright earned his BA in journalism at Texas Christian University. He 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. He died in 2017.

Cartwright was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 1986 in the reporting excellence category. He was the recipient of a Dobie-Paisano fellowship and 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 received the 2005 Headliner Club of Austin award for best magazine story. Cartwright wrote several books, including Blood Will Tell, Confessions of a Washed-up Sportswriter, Dirty Dealing, Galveston: A History of the Island, and Heart Wiseguy, a memoir published in 1998. He cowrote three movie scripts, for J. W. Coop (Columbia, 1972); Pair of Aces (CBS TV, 1990), which he also coproduced; and Pancho, Billy and Esmerelda, which he coproduced for his own production company in 1994. He also coproduced Another Pair of Aces for CBS. Blood Will Tell was adapted by CBS TV as a four-hour miniseries in 1994.

200 Articles

Criminal Justice|
June 30, 2004

Greg Ott, Free

Greg Ott, the philosophy graduate student who was convicted of killing a Texas Ranger in 1978, has finally been released and is getting on with his life.

Gary Cartwright|
June 30, 2004

One School Left Behind

Austin's Garza High is a rescuer of lost souls. Too bad President Bush's education-reform law considers it a failure.

Cartwright's Texas|
February 1, 2004

The Verdict

Getting Robert Durst acquitted might be too tall an order for most lawyers, but for Dick DeGuerin, it was just another day at the office.

Texas History|
January 1, 2004

Showdown at Waggoner Ranch

It’s the nation’s biggest spread within the confines of a single fence—more than eight hundred square miles extending across six counties. So it’s fitting that the family feud over its future is big too. And mythic.

Cartwright's Texas|
November 1, 2003

Saving Cupid

Every year, at least two hundred sea mammals get stranded on Texas beaches. This is the story of one of them, a 199-pound dolphin with a neurological disorder, a sardonic grin, and a willingness to swim with yours truly.

Cartwright's Texas|
September 30, 2003

Holy Trinity

When I was growing up in Arlington, the upper Trinity River was a dirty joke—and it still is. But the lower Trinity? You've got to see it to believe it.

August 31, 2003

God Bless America’s Team

Pray for Bill Parcells, whose job is to take the Dallas Cowboys back to the Super Bowl. Pray for an arm like Troy's and legs like Emmitt's. And if all else fails, pray for a miracle.

Cartwright's Texas|
January 1, 2003

The Idealist

If you're wondering why trial lawyers were once regarded as heroes rather than pariahs, let me tell you about my friend Warren Burnett, the late, great champion of little guys and lost causes.

December 1, 2002

You Only Live Twice

Where does an actress of a certain age restart her life (and jump-start her career) after years at Hollywood's mercy? If you're former Bond Girl Lois Chiles, the answer is obvious: back home in Texas.

The Culture|
December 1, 2002

Brothers in Lore

What ever happened to twin halfbacks Dickie Don and Rickie Ron Yewbet, the pride of the Corbett Comets? Forty years later, their story is still unbelievable.

True Crime|
February 1, 2002

Durst Case Scenarios

Last September a human torso was found floating in Galveston Bay—a gruesome discovery that opened a window into the bizarre life of the accused murderer, New York multimillionaire Robert Durst.

Web Exclusive|
September 30, 2001

The Fan

Senior editor Gary Cartwright talks about the story behind this month's cover story, "The Devil and Mr. Jones."

Web Exclusive|
February 1, 2001

Outlaw Love

Senior editor Gary Cartwright tells the story behind this month's cover story, "The Whole Shootin' Match."

Texas History|
February 1, 2001

The Whole Shootin’ Match

The most famous bank-robbing lovers of all time weren't nearly as glamorous as Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. Although the fragile, pretty Bonnie Parker had her good points, Clyde Barrow was a scrawny, two-timing psychopath. They were straight out of a country and western ballad. And when they died in

Criminal Justice|
July 31, 2000

Free Greg Ott!

Twenty-two years ago a Texas Ranger was shot and killed during a drug raid on the home of Greg Ott, a philosophy graduate student. Even today, no one really knows what happened on that tragic night.

April 1, 2000

Shrake’s Progress

The Borderland, Bud Shrake’s epic novel about the early days of the Republic of Texas, is the crowning achievement of a life that is itself the stuff of legend.

February 1, 2000

Live and Learn

East Texas native George Dawson couldn’t read until he was 98. Now, at 102, he’s written a memoir. Next up: a high school equivalency diploma—but no driving.

December 1, 1998

The End

Serial killer Kenneth McDuff’s victims are unearthed, and he gets his due (we hope).

True Crime|
March 1, 1998

The Last Posse

After thieves stole his daughter’s horse, deputy U.S. marshal Parnell McNamara didn’t make a federal case out of it. Instead, he rounded up a group of old-style lawmen and lit out after them.

July 31, 1997

Turn Out the Lights

The Dallas Cowboys old-timers reunion is over, but for one evening it was possible to remember when pro football was fun, players were loyal, and even a sportswriter could fall in love with his team.

True Crime|
February 1, 1997

Good Fella

Now that Joe Chagra is dead, it’s time to clear his name in the 1979 assassination of San Antonio federal judge John Wood.

September 30, 1996

Cowboy Family Values

Serious athlete. Devoted father and husband. Savvy businessman. On game day he may be Prime Time, but out of the spotlight, Deion Sanders is the squarest player on the Dallas Cowboys.

Politics & Policy|
July 31, 1996

The Sting

Operation Lightning Strike, the FBI’s bizarre NASA probe, accomplished many things—all of them negative. Plus, the bureau strikes (out) again in Houston.

News & Politics|
June 30, 1996

Eerie Canal

The Intracoastal Waterway is a marvel of engineering and a boon to industry. It’s also an ecological nightmare, which is why politicians, environmentalists, and business leaders are locked in a battle for the future of the Gulf Coast.

March 1, 1996

The Jones Gang

You know the real reason Texas Stadium has no roof? So Jerry Jones can get his head inside. (Or, how the Cowboys owner’s ego makes it hard to root for America’s Team.)

November 1, 1995

Crazy for Brew

With 31 new brewpubs across the state, deciding which bar to belly up to has never been more difficult—or fun. Our guide to the craft-beer craze.

October 1, 1995

Raving On

Two decades after he played the role of his life in ‘The Buddy Holly Story,’ Gary Busey’s hero worship has made him his own worst enemy.

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