Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 23rd, 2010
The man who analyzed the role of Fay Wray and others who became the “girl in the hairy paw” of King Kong has died.
Ronald Gottesman, 77, a retired University of Southern California English professor, who co-edited the “Norton Anthology of American Literature: Volumes I and II” published in 1979, died May 10, 2010, at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center of complications from pneumonia, USC announced. He taught American literature and American studies at USC from 1975 to 2001. As a scholar of film studies, he wrote of the work of Orson Welles and of movie depictions of King Kong in The Girl in the Hairy Paw. He also penned the significant study, Violence in America: An Encyclopedia.
Gottesman was born January 7, 1933, in Boston. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s degree from Colgate University and a doctorate from Indiana University, all in English. He served in the Army Reserve and taught at Northwestern, Indiana, Rutgers and Wisconsin Parkside before arriving at USC.
He was founding director of USC’s Center for the Humanities, an interdisciplinary study group for public policy that ended in 1984.