''I don't think of myself in a category with real playwrights like Lanford Wilson and David Mamet,'' Herb Gardner said in 1985. ''I still think I would like to be a playwright when I grow up.'' Before his Sept. 24 death from lung disease, Gardner -- a onetime comic-strip artist -- had penned A Thousand Clowns (1962), I'm Not Rappaport (1985), and Conversations With My Father (1992). A very real playwright, indeed.

Originally posted Oct 10, 2003 Published in issue #732 Oct 10, 2003 Order article reprints

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