April 9, 1925|
Morgantown, West Virginia, United States
|Died||October 21, 1995(aged 70)|
|Occupation||Astrologer, numerologist, palmist, and writer|
Mary Alice Kemery popularly known as Linda Goodman (April 9, 1925 – October 21, 1995) was a New York Times bestselling American astrologer and poet. She is notable as the author of the first astrology book to make The New York Times Best Seller list.
Early life and background
Linda Goodman was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. Although Goodman never revealed her year of birth, swearing even her father to silence, it emerged posthumously that she was born in 1925. According to data collector Frank C. Clifford, Linda was born on April 9, 1925 in Morgantown, West Virginia at 6:05 a.m. Clifford cites Linda's birth certificate as his source. Her father's name was Robert Stratton Kemery. Her mother's maiden name was Mazie McBee. By her own account she was born in her maternal grandparents' house on 115 Kingwood Street. She attended and graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1943 aged 18 years.
Linda Goodman assumed the name "Linda" during World War II for a popular WCOM radio show in Parkersburg that she hosted called Love Letters from Linda. Each show consisted of Linda reading letters written between soldiers and their loved ones. Each letter was punctuated with a popular song of the day. While working in radio, she met her second husband, Sam O. Goodman, and took his last name.
She began her career writing for newspapers in the eastern and southeastern United States. She also wrote speeches for black American civil rights leader Whitney Young, who served for several years as president of the National Urban League.
Some have suggested that Linda Goodman was responsible for accelerating the growth of the New Age movement through the unprecedented success of her first astrology book Linda Goodman's Sun Signs (1968). This was the first astrology book ever to earn a spot on The New York Times Best Seller list. It was followed by Linda Goodman's Love Signs (1978), which also made The New York Times Best Seller list and set an industry record with $2.3 million being paid for the paperback rights.
Other books by Linda Goodman include:
- Venus Trines at Midnight (1970)
- Linda Goodman’s Love Poems (1980)
- Linda Goodman’s Star Signs: The Secret Codes of the Universe A Practical Guide for the New Age (1987)
- Gooberz (1989)
- Linda Goodman’s Relationship Signs (1998)
Gooberz, begun in 1967, is a long poem riddled with a myriad of occult references and symbolism. It is also a thinly veiled autobiography, which explores two of her significant romantic relationships: her marriage to William Snyder and her love affair with marine biologist Robert Brewer. It also touches on the birth of her four children Sally Snyder, Bill Snyder, Jill Goodman and Michael Goodman. The book surveys her ideas on reincarnation, karma, love, and miracles.
Goodman was mother to four children: Sally, William (Bill) Snyder, from her first marriage. Jill and Michael Goodman were children from her second marriage. She also had at least one other child, a daughter who died in infancy.
Goodman's books also reference what she referred to as the "disappearance" of her eldest daughter, Sally Snyder in the 1970s, and the mystery around her reported death. Linda Goodman spent much money and many years trying to find Sally, long after police closed the case as a suicide or accidental suicide. Goodman never accepted the official police report and continued to search for Sally for the rest of her own life.
A businesswoman from Ireland named Crystal Bush befriended Goodman at the end of her life and obtained the publicity rights to Linda Goodman's name at her death. Crystal Bush published the book Linda Goodman's Relationship Signs after Linda's death.
Linda made Cripple Creek, Colorado, her home during the latter part of her life. She first lived in a small Victorian house on Carr Street ("the little crooked house on the crooked little street") and later moved to a newer home on the outskirts of the main town. Both homes still boast her spiritually themed stained-glass windows. The house on Carr Street is now a bed and breakfast. She died in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on October 21, 1995, at the age of 70, from complications of diabetes.
- Bayer, Ann (September 26, 1969). "A Grand Tour of the Zodiac". Life 67 (13). pp. 60–77.
- Holden, James H. (2006). "Linux Goodman and Sun Signs". A History of Horoscopic Astrology (2nd ed.). American Federation of Astr. ISBN 9780866904636.
- Nobile, Philip (March 12, 1979). "Love According to the Stars". New York 78 (18). p. 13.
- Seligso, Marcia (April 7, 1972). "Stars Fell on the Pentagon: Astrology and the Draft". Life 72 (13). p. 22.
- Travis, Neal (November 27, 1978). "Rating Lovers Brings Bonanza". New York 11 (48). p. 9.