Bruce Jay Friedman  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bruce Jay Friedman (April 26, 1930 – June 3, 2020) was an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and actor. He was the editor of Black Humor: Anthology (1965).


Early life

Friedman was born in New York City on April 26, 1930, and was raised in The Bronx. His father, Irving, worked at a company selling women’s apparel; his mother, Mollie (Liebowitz), was a regular theatergoer. His family was of Jewish descent. Friedman attended DeWitt Clinton High School before enrolling at the University of Missouri, having applied unsuccessfully to Columbia University. He majored in journalism. He subsequently joined the United States Air Force and wrote for the military publication "Air Training".


After he finished his two-year stint in the military, Friedman went back to The Bronx. He wrote his first short story titled "Wonderful Golden Rule Days", which he sold to The New Yorker. He was later employed by Magazine Management Company in 1954, working for many of the era's famous men's magazines. Friedman ended up as an executive editor in charge of the magazines Men (not the present magazine of the same title), Male, and Man's World.

In 1962, Friedman published Stern, the first of his eight novels. In 1988, he appeared in Woody Allen's film Another Woman. His collection of short fiction, Three Balconies, appeared in September 2008, from Biblioasis, who also published his 2011 memoir Lucky Bruce. A collection of four plays [Scuba Duba, Steambath, Sardines and The Trial], in a collection titled "3.1 Plays," was published in January 2012 by Leaping Lion Books.

Personal life and death

Friedman married his first wife, Ginger Howard, in 1954. Together, they had three sons: Josh, Kipp and Drew. They divorced in 1978, after their marriage “crumbled like an old graham cracker”. Five years later, he married Patricia O'Donohue. They remained married until his death, and they had one daughter (Molly).

Friedman died on June 3, 2020 at his home in Brooklyn. He was 90, and had been suffering from neuropathy in the years leading up to his death. According to his son, Josh, the cause of death had not yet been determined.


  • Stern (1962)
  • A Mother's Kisses (1964)
  • The Dick (1970)
  • About Harry Towns (1974)
  • Tokyo Woes (1985)
  • The Current Climate (1989)
  • A Father's Kisses (1996)
  • Violencia!: A Musical Novel (2002)

Short fiction

  • Black Humor (1965) (editor)
  • Black Angels: Stories (1966)
  • Far From the City of Class (1966)
  • Let's Hear It for a Beautiful Guy (1985)
  • The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman (2000)
  • Sexual Pensees (with Andre Barbe) (2006)
  • Three Balconies: Stories and a Novella (2008)



  • Scuba Duba (1967)
  • Steambath (1970)
  • Have You Spoken to Any Jews Lately? (1995)
  • 3.1 Plays (2012)


  • The Rascal's Guide (editor and contributor) (1959)
  • The Lonely Guy's Book of Life (1978)
  • Even The Rhinos Were Nymphos (2000)
  • The Slightly Older Guy (2001)
  • Lucky Bruce: A Literary Memoir (2011)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bruce Jay Friedman" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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