Stuart “Stu” Goldman, the former editorial cartoonist and art director/graphics editor for the Jewish Exponent, died on March 3 at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 74.
Goldman worked for the Exponent from 1981 until his retirement in 2009, drawing comics that reflected the tone of the Jewish news of the day.
An April 29, 2013 Exponent article outlines a few of his comics that won first place for best editorial cartoon by the Philadelphia Society of Professional Journalists, which included “‘Sharon’s Shoes’” about the plight of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on succeeding Ariel Sharon and ‘Did You See This?’ about Islamist attempts to impose censorship on the West.”
“They were always spot-on and very perceptive,” Luci Scott, a former Jewish Exponent staff member and colleague of Goldman’s from 1983 to 1993, said of Goldman’s comics.
Goldman also won multiple Noah Bee Awards in the newspaper sub-categories of “Editorial Cartooning” or “Illustrating in All.” Between his work at the Exponent and the Philadelphia publication The Welcomat, where he published his “Eavesdrawings” cartoons, he was syndicated in more than 75 publications, according to his wife Naomi Goldman.
Sometimes not politically correct but almost always funny, Goldman wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, his wife remembers.
“If you met Stu, you might have been put off by his sense of humor or what he might have said,” she said. “He might have said something that people were thinking but didn’t say out loud.”
Born in Kensington, Goldman attended Haverford High School and Kutztown College, receiving a bachelor’s in art education in 1971.
He took up an interest in drawing as a young child and was deemed “difficult” to parent, Naomi Goldman said.
“He always said, when he went to his room when he was being punished, he just started to draw,” Naomi Goldman said. “It just flowed from his head to his hand.”
Goldman taught graphic design at the Hussian School of Art and the Art Institute of Philadelphia, where former student Annmarie Hafer recalled Goldman going “above and beyond” to assist his students.
According to Hafter, Goldman believed that he could teach anyone how to draw but couldn’t instruct students on how to think critically or effectively editorialize cartoons.
“He looked for those students that were good at communication or liked to write — and he didn’t play favorites, don’t get me wrong — but he saw us, and he pushed us a little bit harder than everyone else,” Hafer said.
Goldman’s perspective that informed his cartoons was shaped by his unique experiences as a young person, Hafer believed.
“He had the perspective of a lot of different types of people going into his art and going into his political cartoons,” Hafer said.
In between his time in college and teaching and drawing professionally in Philadelphia, Goldman served in the Navy during the Vietnam War on the USS New Jersey. He had the vulnerable task of loading torpedoes on the side of the boat, eventually earning him the title of petty officer third class.
Goldman also couldn’t help but lend his talents for entertainment while on the ship, drawing comics in his downtime. During Goldman’s time in the Navy, actor and comedian Bob Hope visited and performed for the troops, and Goldman was responsible for archiving the shows’ recordings and organizing the reel tapes.
“Every time the tape ended when they were shooting the performance, Stu would do the cataloging and make sure that it was accurate information,” Naomi Goldman said.
Though Goldman seldom talked about his time in Vietnam, “he was proud to show” where he served, his wife said. Later in life, he taught T’ai Chi Chih to other Vietnam vets.
In addition to drawing cartoons, Goldman developed an affinity for stained glass during his time in Fort Lauderdale and eventually became the managing editor for GLASScraftman Magazine.
Through the magazine, Goldman met Randy Wardell, who was assigned to write Goldman’s profile for the publication. The two became fast friends.
“The neat thing about Stu was, he was an adventurer,” Wardell said. “He would try anything.”
Goldman signed the two of them up for ukulele lessons one year and took them paddleboarding on another occasion.
Both Wardell and Naomi Goldman remember Stuart Goldman’s wide range of hobbies, which also included being a certified glider pilot and parachutist. He was a “punster” who enjoyed making up parody songs to sing and strum along with his ukulele.
“We laughed a lot in the 35 years that we were together,” Naomi Goldman said. “We laughed a lot.”
Goldman is survived by his wife, and other relatives.