Douglas G Brown 1939-1997
Douglas Brown was born and educated in Enfield near London in England. After receiving a degree in journalism from the University of London, he joined the Royal Air Force and was eventually assigned as Secretary to the Consul General of the British Embassy in Washington DC.
In 1960, he decided to try his luck in Hollywood. Taking the train west, he interrupted his journey to see Palm Springs. Thirty- seven years later he was still enthralled with the magic of that desert oasis and became a dedicated promotor of the resort. As both editor of the Palm Springs Desert Post and as a feature writer and columnist he covered the entertainment and social scene for the Desert Sun, the Key Magazine and Beverley Hills Courier. Doug Brown was also Art Editor for the popular Sand to Sea magazine. He authored two books and headlined his own radio show, as well as establishing his public relations firm. His many clients and friends held Doug in high esteem, appreciated his charisma, energy, personal warmth and unique European charm. He was a gentleman’s gentleman who sadly died far too young.
One friend quoted of him “Whenever one met Doug Brown, one’s day became a little brighter…”
He said he met Gwyn Steinbeck in the early seventies, when she ran a small art gallery and lived in a modest, two-bedroom house in Palm Springs, California. She had many mementoes of her time and travels with her then husband John Steinbeck, but following his death in 1968, Gwyn lived modestly, as Brown understood it, on a low fixed income.
She related her story, both the early promise and later tragedy, describing it as ‘but a fragment of John’s life.’
The result is a memoir that delivers a unique and controversial portrait of the great American writer, John Steinbeck. Lost since 1972, and recently discovered in Wales, My Life with John Steinbeck allows Gwyn Steinbeck – John Steinbeck’s second wife and the mother of his two children – to tell her story for the first time in 46 years. It is the compelling story of a woman’s love for a man hailed by the world for his literary genius. A man who, in Gwyn’s own words, “was not a hero. He was only a tremendously complex man who could be very beautiful one moment and then change into something very un-beautiful.”
My Life with John Steinbeck: The story of John Steinbeck’s forgotten wife by Gwyn Steinbeck, as told to Douglas G. Brown (HB: £19.99, PB: £11.99, e-book: £4.99) is available from Amazon and all good book retailers. Pre-order: http://bit.ly/MLWJSpaperback