Charles Gordone; First Black Playwright to Win Pulitzer
Charles Gordone, 70, first black playwright to win the Pulitzer Prize. Gordone won the award in 1970 for “No Place to Be Somebody,” a brutally realistic drama of black-black and black-white relationships. The play was his first and for practical purposes his last. It was performed in Los Angeles in 1970 at the Huntington Hartford (now Doolittle) Theater, with Gordone in attendance, and again in 1987 at the Matrix. Despite his short if brilliant period as a playwright, Gordone worked in the theater throughout his career. He began as an actor, while studying at Los Angeles City College and Cal State L.A. AT L.A. City College, he majored in music and was president of the college choir, then drifted into drama. After his success with the play, Gordone devoted himself to teaching and directing. In addition to lecturing at colleges and community theaters across the country, he taught English and theater for nine years at Texas A&M; University. On Friday in College Station, Tex., of cancer.