GOODRICH, MARCUS [AURELIUS] (1897–1991). Novelist Marcus
Goodrich was born 28 November 1897, in San Antonio, Texas. Enlisting
in the navy in 1916, he served initially in the Philippines aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Chauncey. With the outbreak of World War I, the Chauncey
was sent to the Atlantic, and Goodrich was aboard on 19 November 1917,
when she collided with a merchant ship while escorting a convoy and went
down with the loss of twenty-one men, including the captain. Serving
throughout World War I, Goodrich became a naval aviator before leaving
the service in 1920. After attending Columbia University while working as
a Broadway stage manager and newspaperman, Goodrich became a professional journalist.
In 1926 he began, in earnest, work on his novel Delilah (1941), based
on his experiences aboard the Chauncey in the Philippines and ending as
World War I begins. Writing Delilah took him fourteen years, during which
he supported himself with newspaper work, advertising copywriting, and
writing “treatments” for Hollywood movies. His treatments include Navy
Born (1936) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1947). Finally published on the eve
of America’s entry into World War II, Delilah became a best-seller. Goodrich returned to active duty in World War II, serving in the Mediterranean
and Pacific and ending the war as a lieutenant commander. Delilah was his
only novel, though for the rest of his life he indicated that he was polishing
the sequel. The last of Goodrich’s five marriages (1946–1952) was to actress
Olivia de Haviland. He died in Richmond, Virginia.