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Volume 6445
Irwin Porges
(1909/09/05 - 1998/09/10)
The Man Who Created
ERB: The Golden Anniversary Bibliography

Irwin Porges and his wife Cele
Irwin's 80th birthday (1997)

Irwin Porges
Bio Info Culled From Book Blurbs

Irwin & Arthur Porges (Courtesy of Cele Porges)
Born in Akron, Ohio on September 5, 1909 (some sources claim it was Maywood, Illinois.), he spent most of his early life there but went to college in California where he graduated from the University of California in Berkeley. He studied piano and music arranging at a music conservatory and became a professional pianist with dance orchestras. He was taught music and has been a popular song composer.
After a long stint with the Merchant Marine, he served with the Army Air Force during World War II and saw action in France, Italy and Africa. Following World War II, he moved to Los Angeles and by 1953 had received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Southern California. He began his writing career in 1955 and is a well-known writer in the short story and nonfiction field and is a recognized authority on the sea, having spent almost three decades in ships of all kinds. He has sold countless stories and articles to such Magazines as Coronet, True, Science Digest and American Mercury. He also wrote a TV script for "77 Sunset Strip" in 1960. In the '60s he taught English and courses in writing at Los Angeles Valley College, Van Nuys, California.

Résumé of Irwin Porges
(Source : Cele Porges, 2003)

Irwin Porges :: November 1, 1974
Educational background
Bachelor's an Master's degrees, £english Major, U.S.C.
Partial completion of courses for doctorate at U.C.L.A.

Professional background
Teaching, L.A. City schools, 1951-1973
Los angeles Valley College
Teaching of Creative Writing Courses, day and evening classes: Writer's Roundtable, Writing the Short Story, beginning and advanced courses. Sponsor of Manuscript, the student magazine of ppoetry and fiction.
(In earlier, pre-teaching years, I was a professional musician, a pianist, conervatory trained, doing concert and popular dance work and music teaching.)

Professional writing background
1954-64: more than fifty articles and stories in print
Fiction, Detective stories:
Alfred Hitchcock's Magazine, 1973-75, various stories
Alfred Hitchcock's Magazine, Anthology, Murder-Go-Round, short story, "Nobody to play with", 1977
Alfred Hitchcock's Anthology, 1978, short story "Devious"
Detective stories in various other magazines, Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine, 87th Precint, The Executioner.
Short story "The Stores than Come and Go", Mike Shayne Magazine, 1975, honor roll as Best Detective Story of the Year.

Book Publications:
Many Brave Hearts, Tales of Heroism at Sea, Chilton Company, hardcover, 1962
Edgar Allan Poe, a biography, Chilton Company, hardcover, 1963
SOS The World's Great Sea Disasters, Monarch books, paperback, 1962
The Violent Americans, a psychological study of violence, Monarch books, 1963
Edgar Rice Burrougs, The Man who Created Tarzan, Brigham Young University Press, 1975, hardcover, 819 pages, 300 illustrations. three printings, sales of 17,000 copies. Foreword by Ray Bradbury.
Edgar Rice Burrougs, The Man who Created Tarzan, New English Library, London, england, 1976, same book with additional illustrations, on sale in England
Edgar Rice Burrougs, The Man who Created Tarzan, Ballantine Publishers, 1976, large paperback edition, two volumes, boxed.
    (All of the books listed above have been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, three of them by Robert Kirsch)

Television Writing
A script for the program 77 Sunset Strip, broadcast in 1958. I have been a member of the Screenwriter's Guild.

(Among chis latest works was a novel, just completed, titled Accounts and Aftermath of an Incident in a Small German Town.
This was shceduled for publication in 1979. The novel is a modern development and continuation of the Pied Piper Legend. Research was done in Germany at Hameln.)

E.R. Burroughs Box
E.R. Burroughs Cover
Many Brave Hearts
Violent Americans
Covers of Irwin Porges' books

Family information about Arthur and Irwin Porges
Letter from Arthur Porges concerning the Porges name
September 3, 2002
Dear M. Porgès,
    Thank you for a most remarkable communication, a truly amazing compilation about the name Porges. I can't add much, I fear, but here's what I know --or think I know, but could be wrong about some points -- about my family.

    My father was born about 1885 in a small town near the Russia-Poland border. He gave the name -- I offer it phonetically, as I heard it -- Ch-van--yeek, with a guttural "Ch" as in "Chain." He had two brothers -- Mortimer, a lawyer in Chicago, Dave, who worked for the Chicago Board of Education; and two sisters, Lilian and Rose, neither of whom married. Mortimer had two daughters, Lois and June. My father's name was something like Israel Podgursky (?), but on coming to the U. S. found a relative, Leo Porges, who had a business in Chicago, so my father chose to adopt that name. I've never know if he and Leo picked the name out of the air, unlikely, I think, or had some ties to the Jewish Porges network. My father, now James Porges, had four sons: Leonard, Irwin, Arthur, and Walter. I'm the only one still alive. None had children, although all but me married rather late in life.

    My father married Clara Kurzin, who died when I was nine. He never re-married, partly because he loved her only, and perhaps because he'd lost an arm in a railroad accident, and with four children would not easily have found a wife. He worked all his life for the Bell Telephone company in Chicago. The only other Porges relative I recall was a Sam Porges, a violinist.

    As for me, you know all about me from the Simms website. I'm still writing at 87, with stories coming out in the Ellery Queen Magazine, another of my Stately Hones parodies, and several Mini-Fantasies in fantasy & Science-Fiction, along with my most original story in many years -- LUZ. As you know, I specialize in finding little-known facts and using them as gimmicks in my fiction. LUZ is such a story. I never married, being a born loner, recluse, who loves and needs much solitude; I'm totally immune from loneliness, and am more than satisfied with about an hour of conversation a week. Like Hamlet, I could be quite contented living in a nutshell. Some of my best writing, better than my fiction, I think, is in the 4O-odd essays I published locally. Right now, I'm trying to get two of the best reprinted in national, if not widely-read, magazines of some prestige. If I succeed, I'll be happier than if selling several stories, but essays are hard to sell, so I'm not very sanguine.

    On your own name, I think the "s" is pronounced; Cele thinks not. Who's right? I believe the accent grave makes the "s" pronounced, but although I studied French for four years in High School, I'm not sure.

    I argued with Cele and Irwin for years about the name. They insisted we were not related to the European Porgeses, but I felt that my father didn't pick the name for no reason, that there must be some tie, maybe even to the famous Heinrich, a musician I'd love to have as a relations Now your thorough research may settle the matter one of these days -- I hope.

    I don't have any records handy, but think Leonard was born about 1908, and Walter about 1918. I think my father died about 1965 -- Cele may know.

    As you may know, a book of my best horror/fantasy stories will be out soon. The mystery/crime ones might follow, but that's not sure right now. Ash-Tree Press in Canada; Mike Ashley, Editor.

    Your facility with English is awesome; would that my French were a tenth as good!

    Good luck with your fine work on the Families Porgii, as we used to call ourselves years ago, and all the best.

    Arthur Porges

(Of Childhood Memories)
by Irwin Porges
    Wherever the memory leads, we must follow. The memory makes its own choice and what it does is unexplainanble. Why do certain people and happenings remain alive throughout the years, ready for recall? This is a question without any clear answer.

    At age five, lying on the floor beneath our large dining room table, I was playing with a tiny kitten, perhaps only a few weeks old. The cat would slap at me with its paw, and I would lift it and tumble it over. This game went on for some time until the kitten, evidently exhausted refused to play anymore, and tried to escape. My mother, passing by, looked down where the kitten was struggling and said, “Don’t wear her out”." I left for a while, the kitten lying on the rug. When I returned minutes later, the kitten lay motionless. I poked it, and then realized with a sudden pang, that it was dead. The scene occurs and reoccurs in my mind, a picture with all the objects grouped just a they were years ago -- the cat, the rug, the table, and above it all, my mother's words floating. Even at this early age, without knowing or understanding the word "guilt", I felt the pain of what I might have done.

    My richest, cherished memories are of my mother, my dear, incredible mother. In the midst of a life of poverty, illness and the usual household drudgery, she found her own small world of creativity. She wrote romantic stories and played romantic pieces on an old battered upright piano that occupied one corner of the living room. I would stand behind her and listen a she played the numbers, Meditation and Hearts and Flowers. I remember her turning to smile at me. I was too young to understand that the smile often covered the sharp pain she felt. My mother had what was an incurable heart condition (in those days), which was called Valvular heart trouble, which developed after the first childbirth.

    At the time of her marriage -- and the story had been told to me by her older sister -- my mother was the youngest of four sisters. She was a lively, fun-loving girl with a good sense of humor and a girl given easily to laughing. She was very attractive see before me a photo of her, like one of the “flappers” of the period, with daring bobbed hair-- she was the only one of the sisters who dared to do this -- she was never bound by convention. As I recall, she had small even features and was of medium height. It seems to me that she was a little taller than my father who was a short man, and I noticed this when they walked together, she appearing an inch or two taller than he.

    There are so many more things about her that keep returning to me. At the age of nine or ten I began to write, and I recall vividly how she would look over my shoulder as I wrote, and above all her encouragement. Once, when I had written quite long story, perhaps ten pages or more, I could hear her at night, when I was in bed, as she found the story and took it with her to the bedroom and read it to my father. She was enthusiastic about it and thought it should be sent to a magazine, but my father, a very practical man at that time, pooh-poohed the idea and I could hear him say, "It's just kid stuff." I must add that my father, himself a remarkable man, later changed his attitude -- in fact- - many of his attitudes, and adapted constantly.

Source : Cele Porges, 2002
Ref: Porges Net

A Newspaper Reprint in the
Burroughs Gridley Wave: #182: November 1997


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