Richard Setlowe, novelist and variety show writer, dies aged 89

Richard Setlowe, a longtime entertainment journalist who made the switch from his diversity Staff job to become network manager and later a prolific novelist, died August 25 at the Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City, California after long-term health problems. He was 89.

Setlowe worked as a writer and editor at the San Francisco Examiner and contributed to Time, Life and TV Guide. He also wrote for diversity on film, music and theatre, from 1962 to 1998. He was diversity‘s Bay Area correspondent for several years, becoming a full-time contributor in September 1969, including a stint as senior film critic.

He left journalism to become vice president of creative affairs at ABC Pictures in March 1971.

Setlowe was born on April 21, 1933 in New York and grew up there and in Tennessee. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he was a running back on the football team. He transferred to USC on a Navy scholarship and earned a BS in social studies. After graduating as a Navy officer, he volunteered for Navy flight school and was later assigned as a naval officer aboard the aircraft carrier Midway. His first novel, The Brink, was about Midway’s role in the cross-strait crisis that almost erupted in nuclear war.

He wrote four other novels, The Experiment, The Haunting of Susana Blackwell, The Black Sea, and The Sexual Occupation of Japan. He taught writing at UCLA and earned a Masters of Professional Writing from USC at age 74.

He also enjoyed his pursuits as a private pilot, scuba diver, tennis player, and snow skier. His 50-year-old wife Beverly Setlowe died in 2012. He is survived by sons David Higgs and Chris Balaam, grandchildren Chase Higgs, Hailey Holfelder, Adam Balaam, Eric Balaam, great-grandson Luca Holfelder and niece Kimberly Setlowe.

A private celebration of his life will be held on September 18 at 1:00 p.m. at the Beyond Baroque Theater in Venice, California. Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society. Richard Setlowe, novelist and variety show writer, dies aged 89

Charles Jones

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