William Brown Meloney (1902–1971)

William Brown Meloney at the traces of champion show horse Chasley Superman in 1969

William Brown Meloney V[1] (May 4, 1902– May 4, 1971) [2] was a journalist, novelist, short-story writer and theatrical producer.


He was born on May 4, 1902, in Pawling, New York, to William Brown Meloney (1878–1925) and Marie Mattingley Meloney (1878-1943).[3][4] Meloney studied at Columbia College and graduated in 1926 and lectured English and comparative literature at the university. He was a fellow at the University of Paris in 1927–28.[5]

He first became a lawyer and joined the law offices of William J. Donovan and managed his campaign for the Governor of New York in 1932. He later became a journalist like his parents.[5]

In 1929 he had an affair with Priscilla Fansler Hobson, who became pregnant with Meloney's child and who underwent an abortion.[6]

Meloney was married first to Elizabeth Ryder Symons of Saginaw, Michigan, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Shirley Symons,[7] then to playwright and screenwriter Rose Franken.[8] He had two sons by his first wife, the first was William Brown Meloney VI (1931-2005) The second son was born on April 8, 1933.[7]

In 1933, Meloney and Elizabeth were living in Pawling, New York, where he was editor of the Pawling Chronicle.[7] He was also the local correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune and The New York Times.[9]

In the mid-1930s, Meloney was writing motion picture scripts with Rose Dorothy Lewin Franken, and the two were married on April 27, 1937. By that time he had become a lawyer and was also an executive on This Week magazine, of which his mother was the editor. Meloney and Franken "relocated to Longmeadow, a working farm in Lyme, Connecticut, which, under their management, was adopted as a model of diversified farming by the local agricultural college at Storrs."[10] The two continued writing, "both individually and collaboratively, for magazines, including Harper's Bazaar and Collier's. They sometimes wrote together under the pseudonym Franken Meloney."[8] (Some sources also ascribe the "Margaret Grant" pen-name to the couple.[11])

He died on May 4, at his home in Kent, Connecticut.[5]


  • In High Places, 1939[12]
  • Many Are the Travelers, 1954[12]
  • Mooney, 1950[12]

Broadway productions

  • Outrageous Fortune, November 3, 1943 – January 8, 1944[13]
  • Doctor's Disagree, December 28, 1943 – January 15, 1944[13]
  • Soldier's Wife, October 4, 1944 – May 12, 1945[13]
  • The Hallams, March 4, 1948 – March 13, 1948[13]


Shared credit as writer


  1. ^ A notice in The New York Times of December 8, 1925, referred to him as William Brown Meloney 5th.[1]
  2. ^ "William Brown Meloney Dead; Author and Stage Producer, 69 (Published 1971)". The New York Times. 1971-05-06. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-06.
  3. ^ "Mrs. W.B. Meloney, Noted Editor, Dies", The New York Times, June 24, 1943
  4. ^ "Major W.B. Meloney Dies; Victim of War", The New York Times, December 8, 1925
  5. ^ a b c "William Brown Meloney Dead; Author and Stage Producer, 69". The New York Times. 1971-05-06. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  6. ^ G. Edward White, Alger Hiss's Looking-Glass Wars, New York: Oxford University Press (2004)
  7. ^ a b c "Son Born to Mrs. W.B. Meloney", The New York Times, April 9, 1933
  8. ^ a b Sherilyn Brandenstein, "Rose Dorothy Lewin Franken", The Handbook of Texas Online
  9. ^ "The Press:Fortescue Fun", Time, September 10, 1934
  10. ^ Glenda Frank, "Rose Franken, 1895-1988", Jewish Women's Archive
  11. ^ A history of women in the United States: state-by-state reference. Doris Weatherford (editor). Grolier Academic Reference. 2004. p. 45.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ a b c Library of Congress
  13. ^ a b c d Internet Broadway Database
  14. ^ a b c IMDb

External links

Other Languages