In Memoriam: Robert Gover

Robert Gover

We’re saddened to have to report the death of writer Robert Gover. Robert died January 12, 2015. He was 85.

Robert lived a writer’s life. He was friends with people like Jim Morrison, he was kicked out of a restaurant with Bob Dylan, James Baldwin tried to convince him to move to Paris, he had drinks with Norman Mailer, and Gore Vidal and Henry Miller praised his book “The $100 Misunderstanding”. His book “The Maniac Responsible” was called “a work of art” by Newsweek. Robert said of his career, “I made a million dollars during the 60’s and lost it during the 70’s.”

Robert was arrested with Jim Morrison outside a Las Vegas nightclub in 1968, for no other reason than they were among an interracial group and the club’s bouncer took an instant dislike to Morrison. After they were arrested Morrison started berating the arresting officers who threatened physical abuse when their shift was over. Luckily, Morrison and Gover were bailed out before the end of the shift. Robert related this adventure with Morrison in an article entitled “A Hell of a Way to Peddle Poems” in Frank Lisciandro’s book “An Hour For Magic”.

“The $100 Misunderstanding” which was published in 1962 challenged and satirized the racial stereotypes of the times. “The Maniac Responsible” delved into a lurid murder in which newspapers and TV falsely implicate a man in the murder. Morrison was enamored with the book and wanted to make a film of it in which he would star. After Gover declined the opportunity to a write a book on The Doors’ 1968 European tour, Morrison lost interest in the project.

I got to know Robert via email correspondence during the course of writing an article on Jim Morrison and he was kind enough to share his experiences. He was also generous with his time, taking the time to read one of my books. I reviewed one of his later books “Two Brothers”, and he tweaked a query letter I was sending out to agents none of whom showed any previous interest. After making the changes to the letter Robert suggested, suddenly agents were asking to read my novel. Thank you Robert.

Writers invariably want to be remembered for the books they’ve written. Some of Robert’s are available, “The Maniac Responsible,” “The $100 Misunderstanding,” “Two Brothers,” “Poorboy at the Party,” “Voodoo Contra,” and “Time and Money: The Economy and the Planets.” You can also visit Robert’s author page at Hopewell Publications.

If you would like to read a biography of Robert there is one on Wikipedia.

Originally published February 1, 2015

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