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My Life in the New York Post


It was enough to make you run for a valium: a letter from E.L. Doctorow, author of the acclaimed Ragtime, pushing for publication of a story entitled "Who Swings? Swaps? The Weird Sex Lives of Jewish American Novelists." Included in this tasteless (and witless) exercise by one Richard Grayson were supposed "dossiers" on the intimate preferences of such high quality literati as Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick and Isaac Bashevis Singer. This arrived on the desk of Village Voice book maven Eliot Fremont-Smith, along with an endorsement of "Eddie" Doctorow on his own letterhead, inquiring, "Are you man enough to publish such a hard-hitting expose?" No, replied Eliot, who smelled a phony, and sent the stuff off to Doctorow, who forwarded it to his lawyers, who fired off a warning letter to the mysterious Grayson in Brooklyn, who swears he knows of "no such letter" but can't explain the whole darn thing, leading one to believe his literary career may be blessedly brief.

"Literary impostor at large," Page Six, 6/17/78

A Brooklyn College English professor, who says he's protesting the country's "circus-like" political campaigns, has decided to take a leave from the ivory tower and run for Vice President. Richard Grayson, 28, is even officially recognized by the Federal Election Commission. The federal agency has been flooding him with campaign finance forms since the day he wrote them--and they've never questioned his eligibility.

Grayson's biggest concern now is raising the bus fare to New Hampshire to campaign for the nation's first primary. He's already begun a furious campaign. He held a $10-a-plate bagel dinner, which brought in $10. His brother was the sole guest and contributor.

The U.S. Constitution puts the age for holding the office at 35. While Grayson is too young for the job, his political spirit has not been dampened. Not particular about his political party, Grayson is waiting for an offer from any ticket: "Jimmy, Jerry, Teddy, they're all the same to me."

"Prof flips hat into 3-ring circus," news article, 8/2/79

Richard Grayson of Brooklyn says he feels so guilty about patronizing prostitutes on Pacific Street that he wants his name announced on The John Hour. "I deserve to be publicly humiliated," Grayson, a 28-year-old writer, said, asking for his name to be read aloud on the controversial radio show ordered by Mayor Koch.

But Mary Perot Nichols, president of WNYC-FM, says he'll have to wait until he's caught. "We can't put the name on the air of anyone who's not already convicted of solicitation, said Nichols.

Grayson says he needs the punishment: "It's the only thing that will stop me before I strike again."

"I want my name on show, says writer," news article, 10/5/79

Nobody messes with Fred Silverman. Particularly not playful prankster Richard Grayson, who says he's aiming for the Vice Presidency in 1980--with Fred as the head of the ticket. Grayson's even registered his "Elect Fred Silverman" committee with the FEC, and has gotten lots of publicity for his zany scheme--which includes plans to alleviate the gas crunch with a televised "Bowling for Gallons" show. As usual, NBC's peacock finds her feathers ruffled by such shenanigans, and the network's attorneys have sent Grayson a letter with the tragic news that "Mr. Silverman is not a candidate for the Presidency or any other office." NBC also advises that unless Grayson ceases these "unauthorized, possibly illegal, and self-serving activities" they just might take him to court. Grayson's response: "I'd love it."

"Fred's wrath," Page Six, 12/17/79

Socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, who backed into prominence with her name on the rear of the jeans she designs may next turn up in the political arena. A new party, called "The Right To Be the Life of the Party Party," is pushing the ageless Gloria for U.S. Senator.

"Gloria is much more stylish than Bess Myerson and Liz Holtzman, who is downright frumpy," says Richard Grayson, "treasurer and beautiful person" of Gloria's election committee. Among other things, the Vanderbilt signature on U.S. money will strengthen the dollar, says Grayson.

However, Gloria has not officially given her stamp of approval to this grand scheme. Through her lawyer, Tom Andrews, she said that the efforts in her behalf are "unauthorized and unappreciated."

"'Beautiful people' want to put Gloria label in Senate race," news article, 12/21/79

He couldn't get Fred Silverman to run for President last year, so political prankster Richard Grayson's got a new choice for the Oval Office--Richard Nixon. Grayson's Nostalgia Party has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission supporting a ticket of Nixon and the long-lost Spiro Agnew. Being elected Prez more than twice isn't allowed, but Grayson isn't worried. He's determined to bring back the days when "nobody was holding any Americans hostage except the North Koreans, and that was no big deal."

"Nostalgic," Page Six, 5/12/80

PASS THE AMMO: The war isn't being waged in boardrooms, but on Broad Street, near Wall Street, panhandler Richard Grayson is battling to take over R.J. Reynolds-Nabisco if only he can come up with the $25.4 billion.

Caption on photo of me holding Wall Street Journal coffee cup and sign reading 'PLEASE HELP I NEED $25.4 BILLION TO LAUNCH A LEVERAGED BUYOUT OF RJR-NABISCO-CHECKS, CASH, BONDS ACCEPTED', 10/28/88

The Trump Rescue Fund isn't doing too well. West Side author Richard Grayson has been out on the street this week soliciting for the fund, which he created. "We're trying to drum up contributions to help Donald Trump fight off these business problems," Grayson told PAGE SIX. The would-be fundraiser has gotten lots of smiles, "but I haven't gotten one single contribution. "We're entire endowment consists of one check Grayson made out "in the mid two figures." But Grayson isn't giving up. He's still pitching: "If people don't want the Trump era to end, they should give till it hurts."

"Till it hurts," Page Six, 6/8/90

Martha Stewart might have a few million in the bank--but she's about to get a little financial help from her fans. One devotee of the domestic diva has launched "The Martha Stewart Defense Fund" and is urging supporters to send cash to Stewart's swanky Turkey Hill show home in Westport, Conn. Richard Grayson said he started the fund because he's horrified his culinary idol is being depicted as a common criminal in the media.

"Martha is up against all the resources of the federal judicial system, led by John Ashcroft, who has made no secret of his dislike of anything resembling good taste. She will be forced to spend millions on her legal bills," said Grayson, the self-appointed fund chairman.

Grayson, 52, who's sent $100, says Stewart is being persecuted by the Bush administration because she doesn't believe in war, only "domestic harmony."

"Fans $pring to diva's defense," news article, 6/6/03

Richard Grayson is the author of nine short story collections, including The Silicon Valley Diet, I Survived Caracas Traffic, Lincoln's Doctor's Dog, and With Hitler in New York. He currently writes "Diary of a Congressional Candidate" for McSweeney's, and other work has recently appeared online at Small Spiral Notebook, Pindeldyboz, Hobart, Edifice Wrecked, Fiction Warehouse, and Mississippi Review. He has never been Batman's sidekick.