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

March 1, 1987

Home Ain’t Where My Heart Is

When I was growing up, Arlington didn’t have air conditioning or Six Flags. But it did have Albert’s Pool Hall and twenty-cent Jax beer, and that made all the difference.

December 1, 1986

Touch Me, Feel Me, Heal Me!

I was curious when I found that three of my friends had delved into the mysteries of psychic surgery. After three “bloody operations” of my own, I knew what it was all about. About $30 a minute.

True Crime|
April 1, 1986

Swamp Gas

When Jimmy Lee, an unrepentant troublemaker, felt he had taken one insult too many from the powerful Fredeman family, he called in the law. The results of that action have exposed decades of larceny and corruption in Port Arthur and threaten a Gulf Coast empire.

November 1, 1985

Texas Monthly Reporter

A turf battle over shrimp on the coast; a nominee for the meanest man in Houston; a former Cowboy’s reflections on why athletes go broke.

True Crime|
August 31, 1985

The Final Gun

In a small East Texas town a black principal and a white coach loved the same woman. First came the gossip. Next came the strange letters. And then there was a murder.

True Crime|
August 1, 1985

An Aggie’s Revenge

Starting with his alma mater and using little more than charm, Robert Hicks conned the college fundraising industry out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. His name is mud at A&M.

March 1, 1985

Texas Monthly Reporter

Can gas become oil? Can a Lubbock institution become an Austin one? Can preservation become exploitation? Can Houston become Austinized? Can Amarillo escape Pottergate?

February 1, 1985

The Last Roundup

“When the cowboys on the 06 ranch talked about losing a way of life, they often pointed to their neighbor, Clayton Williams, as an example of what they meant. He was a millionaire and an oilman, and he represented everything they hated.”

May 31, 1984

Texas Monthly Reporter

Coming to grips with Al Lipscomb, Dallas critic turned city councilman; remembering the clip joints along Fort Worth’s infamous outlaw alley; flipping for San Angelo, a honey of a West Texas town; taking a bizarre trip through Texas on Gary Hart’s press plane.

May 1, 1984

High Noon at the Circle C

Gary Bradley, a hot young land speculator in Austin, was in the middle of a $50 million deal when he ran into an outraged environmental movement and a lobbyist with some powerful clients. The fight was on.

True Crime|
July 31, 1978

Death of a Ranger

Bob Doherty was a Texas ranger who believed in the myth of the Old West; Greg Ott was a college dope dealer, a child of the sixties. When they met, it destroyed both their lives.

Texas History|
June 30, 1978

On the Waterfront

It was Memorial Day weekend and the pickings were slim. Most of the ships that normally would have been in port lay anchored in Galveston Bay so they wouldn’t have to pay time and a half to longshoremen. The old longshoreman they called Goat made his rounds, cadging drinks and looking

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