San Francisco literary icon Herbert Gold was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1924. After several of his poems were accepted by literary magazines as a teenager, he studied philosophy at Columbia University, where he befriended writers who would define the Beat Generation, from Anaïs Nin to Allen Ginsberg.
Herb won a Fulbright fellowship and moved to Paris, where he did graduate studies at the Sorbonne and worked on his first novel, Birth of a Hero, published in 1951. Since then, he has written more than thirty books, including the bestsellers Fathers and The Man Who Was Not With It. He has received many awards, including the Sherwood Anderson Award for Fiction, the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal, and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. He has also taught at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. He has many children and grandchildren and has recently returned to writing poetry.
Friends for many years, Herb and director William Farley often go to movies together. When Farley began research on his war film, Herb suggested he interview his childhood friend and fellow World War II veteran, Leo Litwak. Upon seeing Litwak’s interview Herb wanted to get more involved, so he ended up helping Farley produce, “I wanted to be a man with a gun.”