William Brown Meloney (1905–1971)

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

William Brown Meloney V[1] (1905–1971) was a journalist, novelist, short-story writer and theatrical producer.


He was born on May 3, 1906 in New Jersey to William Brown Meloney (1878–1925) and Marie Mattingley Meloney (1878-1943),[2][3] Meloney became a journalist, like his parents. In 1929 he had an affair with Priscilla Fansler Hobson, who became pregnant with Meloney's child and who underwent an abortion. Priscilla in the same year married Alger Hiss,[4]:14, 21, 120, 255n19 who in 1950 was convicted of perjury for lying to a Congressional committee.

Meloney was married first to Elizabeth Ryder Symons of Saginaw, Michigan, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Shirley Symons,[5] then to playwright and screenwriter Rose Franken.[6] 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.[5]

In 1933, Meloney and Elizabeth were living in Pawling, New York, where he was editor of the Pawling Chronicle.[5] He was also the local correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune and The New York Times.[7]

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."[8] 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."[6] (Some sources also ascribe the "Margaret Grant" pen-name to the couple.[9])

He died May 3 or 4,[8] 1971, probably in Litchfield, Connecticut.


  • In High Places, 1939[10]
  • Many Are the Travelers, 1954[10]
  • Mooney, 1950 [10]

Broadway productions[edit]

  • Outrageous Fortune, November 3, 1943 – January 8, 1944[11]
  • Doctor's Disagree, December 28, 1943 – January 15, 1944[11]
  • Soldier's Wife, October 4, 1944 – May 12, 1945[11]
  • The Hallams, March 4, 1948 – March 13, 1948[11]


Shared credit as writer


External links[edit]