Saturday, 23 February 2019

Richard Dermody - Author, Journalist


Author Richard Dermody (1904-1952)
Richard Dermody had, according to the FictionMags Index, almost forty stories published in the pulps from 1942 to 1949. While he wasn’t prolific, he was popular, and had a series of stories about Doc Pierce, a peripatetic conman. The series started in 1942 in Dime Detective, and from then till 1948 he had at least 3 stories every year in that series. Apart from this, he published 17 stories in other magazines, mostly detective stories. Other than that, his only story in Blue Book was accompanied by a biographical article that is the source of most of my information.

Granville Richard Dermody was born on September 8, 1904 to Patrick Ambrose and Mabel Richards Dermody. They married in 1899, he was their first and only child. He was named after his maternal grandfather. In 1909, his father died and his mother was running a laundry business to support the family. His mother died in 1918 of complications arising from tuberculosis.

Despite this, he managed to go to college; he’s listed as a student of Agriculture at the Pennsylvania State University in the academic year 1922-23. From February 1927 to June 1928, he served in the US Army (11th Cavalry). He had this to say about himself in the biographical information on authors in Blue Book magazine, September 1947.

BORN in Connecticut forty-three years ago and spent some twenty years polishing saddles with the seat of my britches and making life a burden for assorted steeplechasers, hunters and polo ponies in various countries, including Ireland, Australia and the Argentine.

Took a quick run at an education at Penn State, but came in a poor second. Labored briefly under the delusion that I was a tough guy. Seventeen fights as a pro, and four KO’s in a row, took care of that attitude.

Operated at odd times as a seaman, salesman, cavalryman, 11th U. S., , sports-writer and press-agent. Finally broke loose from the horses when I loaned money to an editor about ten years ago. He bought my first fiction try, and since then I’ve cashed enough copy of one kind and another to keep my typewriter in new ribbons.

Handled radio and press for the OPA in California during the war, and still walk sideways when I smell a bureaucrat.

Interestingly enough, though he says he published his first story in 1937 or so, the first entry for him in the FictionMags index is from 1942. Did he publish stories under a pseudonym?

The next we know of him is his death on March 25, 1952 of arteriosclerosis in San Mateo, California, where he was buried. 

Grave photo courtesy FindAGrave (click image to go there)



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