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Gary Cartwright Papers

Identifier: SWWC-001

Scope and Contents

The Gary Cartwright papers date from 1981 to 2000 and are organized into five series: 1.) Books, 2.) Plays, screenplays, and song lyrics, 3.) Articles, 4.) Correspondence, and 5.) Clippings. Included are handwritten notes, clippings, tear sheets, brochures, a cassette tape, drafts and galley proofs. The material describes the research and editing involved in Cartwright's writing process.


  • 1981-1999, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials from the Wittliff Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user assumes responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish, and abiding by U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical Notes

Gary Cartwright was born August 10, 1934 in Dallas, Texas, and raised in nearby Arlington. He received a B.A. in journalism and government from Texas Christian University in 1957. Cartwright reported the police beat for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from 1956 until he was hired away in 1958 to the Fort Worth Press, where he joined Dan Jenkins and Bud Shrake in the sports department under legendary Texas sportswriter Blackie Sherrod. In 1960, Cartwright moved to the Dallas Times Herald as a sports reporter and in 1963 he joined the Dallas Morning News to write his own sports column. Cartwright's first book, a football novel entitled The Hundred Yard War, was published in 1967 at which point he left newspaper work to become a freelance writer. His work has appeared in The Texas Observer, Esquire, Saturday Review, Rolling Stone and Texas Monthly. Cartwright has been associated with Texas Monthly magazine since its inception in 1973. His articles range over various topics--crime, notable Texans, Texas culture, travel, sports and international travel. A collection of his Texas Monthly articles can be found in Confessions of a Washed-up Sportswriter. The true-crime books Blood Will Tell and Dirty Dealing began as articles for Texas Monthly. In 1988, Cartwright had a heart attack that required quintuple-bypass surgery. A suggestion by Governor Ann Richards to document changes in his life since the injury led to his latest book, HeartWiseGuy. Among the many honors Cartwright has received for his writing are the Texas Institute of Letters' Stanley Walker Award for Journalism for "The Endless Odyssey of Patrick Henry Polk" (Texas Monthly, May 1977) and the Press Club of Dallas Katie Award for Best Magazine News Story for "The Work of the Devil" (Texas Monthly, June 1989). Cartwright has written screenplays in collaboration with Edwin (Bud) Shrake, including .J W. Coop (1972) and Another Pair of Aces (CBS-TV, 1990).

Cartwright passed away on February 22, 2017.


7 Linear Feet

16 boxes

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • The descriptive data created for this finding aid is licensed under the CC0 Creative Commons license and is free for use without restriction.


The Gary Cartwright papers date from 1981 to 2000 and document his writing career.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use:

Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Gary and Phyllis Cartwright since 1989.

Related Materials

See also Accession Numbers 88-052 and 90-071 for photographs of the author taken by Bill Wittliff.

Guide to the Gary Cartwright Papers
Gwynedd Cannan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2000: Revised by Guy DorĂ©
  • 2004: Finding aid revised as part of the Wittliff's Collection Numbering Project
  • 2021: Revised for ArchivesSpace by Susannah Broyles

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA