Gary David Goldberg

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Gary David Goldberg
Born (1944-06-25)June 25, 1944
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died June 22, 2013(2013-06-22) (aged 68)
Montecito, California, U.S.
Cause of death Brain cancer
Alma mater Brandeis University
San Diego State University
Occupation Writer, television producer
Spouse(s) Diana Meehan (2 children)
Children Shana Goldberg-Meehan

Gary David Goldberg (June 25, 1944 – June 22, 2013) was an American writer and producer for television and film. Goldberg was best known for his work on Family Ties (1982–89), Spin City (1996–2002), and his semi-autobiographical series Brooklyn Bridge (1991–93).


Gary David Goldberg was born on June 25, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Anne (née Prossman) and George Goldberg, a postal worker. He had an older brother, Stan, who is 5 years older and a well-known summer camp director.[1] He attended and graduated from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn. He studied at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Diego State University, ultimately deciding to become a writer. In 1969, he met the woman who would become his wife, Diana Meehan. They founded and ran a day care center in Berkeley, California, during the 1970s.[2]


Goldberg began his show business career while living in Israel in 1972, landing the lead role of Scooterman in the language teaching show The Adventures of Scooterman. His first "real job" not in front of the camera[2] came in 1976, when he became a writer for CBS' The Bob Newhart Show. This was followed by The Dumplings, The Tony Randall Show, and later CBS's Lou Grant, for which he was also producer.[2]

In 1982 he formed his own company Ubu Productions (named after his Labrador retriever Ubu Roi, who died in 1984). In 1982 he created Family Ties which ran for seven seasons and was a critical and ratings hit, continuing to be shown to this day in syndication; it helped launch the career of Michael J. Fox. He later produced Brooklyn Bridge and Spin City. In 1989 he produced and directed the feature film with a marquée cast, Dad, starring Jack Lemmon, Ted Danson, and Olympia Dukakis. This film was followed by Bye Bye Love (which he produced but did not direct), starring Matthew Modine, Paul Reiser and Randy Quaid; and Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. He received two Emmy awards (1979 for Lou Grant, 1987 for Family Ties) and four Writers Guild of America Awards (1979, 1988, 1998, 2010) for his work.[2] He also received the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of excellence and innovation in creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television[3] in 1994 and the Austin Film Festival's Outstanding Television Writer Award in 2001.


Tracy Keenan Wynn and more than 150 other television writers over age 40 went to court with AARP as their co-counsel in a far-reaching series of 23 class action lawsuits that charge Hollywood's television industry — networks, studios, talent agencies and production companies — with age discrimination. The most famous industry quote cited in the case came from Gary David Goldberg, who told TV Guide Magazine his program had "no writers on the set over the age of 29—by design."[4]

On January 6, 2009, the Superior Court of the State of California, for the County of Los Angeles, granted final approval to a consent decree resolving age discrimination claims asserted against defendants International Creative Management, Inc. (ICM) and Broder Kurland Webb Agency (BKW). The consent decree affected a full and final resolution of the class claims, including all individual claims subsumed in the cases. Under the terms of the consent decree, defendants ICM and BKW paid $4,500,000 into a settlement fund.[5]

Personal life[edit]

His daughter is the comedy writer Shana Goldberg-Meehan.

He died of brain cancer in Montecito, California, on June 22, 2013, just three days shy of his 69th birthday.[6]



  1. ^ "Gary David Goldberg Biography (1944-)". Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Gary David Goldberg". Gary David Goldberg. 1944-06-25. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  3. ^ "Past Recipients". Archived from the original on 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  4. ^ Hollywood to Writers: You're Fired! Source: AARP Bulletin Today | 2005-01-06
  5. ^ January 6, 2009: Final Approval Granted to Settlement Spenger and Lang Attorney website
  6. ^ "Gary David Goldberg, Creator of 'Family Ties,' Dies at 68". The New York Times. June 24, 2013. 

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