JUNE 21, 1955
NEW YORK—There have been editorials in many papers and there will be many appreciations written of John Golden. His funeral was attended Sunday at his home in Bayside, Long Island, by some 60 friends and members of his family.
The first and greatest interest of John Golden's life was, of course, the theatre. He loved it and he was always looking for ways in which he could improve it. During the last few years he felt the great lack of good plays and he tried characteristically to do something about the lack.
He was a man of many ideas but he always tried to do something about his ideas. He did not leave them just for somebody else to work out, but enlisted the people whom he thought could be helpful and went to work.
In the last few years he devoted most of his time to helping others, often trying to connect his help in some way with the theatre. For instance, he cooperated closely with the schools in the production of plays which he largely financed. He also took a great interest in the New York City Center Theatre and gave much time and money every year to help the celebration for the United Nations on its birthday. He felt that the U.N. was building toward a more peaceful world, and that to him was a great goal for which we must all work.
His professional achievements were great. He was known all over the world as New York's oldest producer, and a very successful one, and he enjoyed his popularity.
I think, however, primarily of Mr. Golden as a wonderful human being who loved people and really practiced being a member of the human race.
One of the last things I can remember seeing him thoroughly enjoy was the dedication of a baseball diamond practically under the window of the rooms where he slept and where he worked. This diamond wiped out part of the lawn near his house but, as he listened to the boys shouting outside, he said to me: "What could be nicer than the happy voices of children?" He had moved this diamond because some neighbors had complained the noise was too great near their house, but it was not too great for him.
I am glad that I have that memory of his pleasure that day because I think those of us who had the honor to be his friends must remember him this way. He loved giving people happiness, whether they were children or old friends or new friends.
I never knew anyone who thought of so many small and personal ways to show his friends of his constant thought and interest in their lives. If everyone can remember something kind he did for them and can pass it on to someone else, John Golden's kindnesses would cover a very great area of the world. That is perhaps the most fitting memorial to a man whose love for people was very great, indeed.
He tried to serve his fellow men and he succeeded in doing it as few people have in the span of their mortal lives. Those of us who have been his friends will remember him with love and find that his influence increases as we keep the memory of his spirit alive in our own lives.