Jewish cartoonist Stuart Goldman dies at 74

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Stuart Goldman has been described by his wife Naomi Goldman as a “pun.” | Courtesy of Naomi Goldman

Stuart “Stu” Goldman, the former editorial cartoonist and art director/graphics editor of the Jewish Exponent, died March 3 at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 74 years old.

Goldman worked for the Exponent from 1981 until his retirement in 2009, drawing comics that reflected the tone of Jewish news of the day.

An April 29, 2013, Exponent article describes some 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 the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to succeed Ariel Sharon. and ‘Did you see that?’ about Islamist attempts to impose censorship on the West.

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“They were always perfect and very insightful,” said Luci Scott, a former Jewish Exponent staffer and colleague of Goldman from 1983 to 1993, of Goldman’s comics.

Goldman has also won multiple Noah Bee Awards in either the “Editorial Cartooning” or “Illustrating in All” newspaper subcategories. Between his work at the Exponent and Philadelphia publication The Welcomat, where he published his “Eavesdrawings” cartoons, he was syndicated to 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 recalls.

“If you met Stu, you might have been put off by his sense of humor or what he might have said,” she said. “He may have said something that people were thinking but he didn’t say out loud.”

Born in Kensington, Goldman attended Haverford High School and Kutztown College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in art education in 1971.

He took an interest in drawing from an early age and was deemed “difficult” for parents, said Naomi Goldman.

“He always said, when he went to his room when he was being punished, he just started drawing,” Naomi Goldman said. “It was just flowing 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 that Goldman went “above and beyond” to help his students.

In a color cartoon, a woman in blue with a clipboard approaches a man with the door open with a newspaper in his hand.
“Jewish Voter Roll,” a 1988 political cartoon by Goldman | Courtesy of Temple University Special Collections Research Center

According to Hafter, Goldman thought he could teach anyone to draw, but he couldn’t teach students to think critically or editorialize cartoons effectively.

“He looked for the students who were good at communication or who 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 mentioned.

Goldman’s perspective that inspired his cartoons was shaped by his unique experiences as a youngster, Hafer believed.

“He had the perspective of a lot of different types of people going into his art and going into his political cartooning,” Hafer said.

Between his time in college and teaching and professional drawing in Philadelphia, Goldman served in the Navy during the Vietnam War on the USS New Jersey. He had the vulnerable task of loading torpedoes into the side of the boat, which eventually earned him the title of Petty Officer Third Class.

Goldman also couldn’t help but lend his entertainment skills on the ship, drawing comics in his spare time. During Goldman’s time in the Navy, actor and comedian Bob Hope visited and performed for the troops, and Goldman was responsible for archiving broadcast recordings and organizing tapes.

“Every time the tape ended during the filming of the performance, Stu did the cataloging and made sure it was accurate information,” Naomi Goldman said.

Although Goldman rarely spoke 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 veterans.

In a black and white photo, two rows of people smile at the camera.
Jewish exhibitor staff in the 1980s with Goldman in the front row, far right | Photo by Scott Weiner

In addition to drawing cartoons, Goldman developed an affinity for stained glass while living in Fort Lauderdale and eventually became the editor of GLASScraftman magazine.

Through the magazine, Goldman met Randy Wardell, who was commissioned to write Goldman’s profile for the publication. The two became fast friends.

“The great thing about Stu is that he was an adventurer,” Wardell said. “He would try anything.”

Goldman signed them both up for ukulele lessons one year and took them paddleboarding another.

Wardell and Naomi Goldman remember Stuart Goldman’s wide range of hobbies, which also included being a certified glider pilot and skydiver. He was a “punster” who enjoyed creating parody songs to sing and strum with his ukulele.

“We laughed a lot in the 35 years we were together,” Naomi Goldman said. “We laughed a lot.”

Goldman is survived by his wife and other relatives.

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