Noted Author Leonard Bishop Dies, December 19, 2002

Noted author and writing teacher Leonard Bishop, 80, died on December 19, 2002 at Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan, Kansas. His 50-year career in writing and teaching is documented at Boston University in the “Leonard Bishop Collection.”

Bishop was a novelist, writing teacher, and newspaper columnist. He was a colleague of Mario Puzo, William Styron, Joseph Heller, Richard Wright, and Harlan Ellison. Listed in the Who’s Who of American Authors, Bishop was also recognized as one of the seven top writing teachers in the United States.

He pioneered the use of multiple viewpoints and wrote the instructional classic Dare to Be a Great Writer. At the time of his death, Bishop was marketing his most recent book To Hell with Talent.

Bishop published 12 other books, The Everlasting, The Desire Years, Make My Bed in Hell, The Butcher’s, Days of My Love, Creep Into Thy Narrow Bed, Down All Your Streets, The Angry Time, Biography of Maurice Utrillo, Centennial Edition for Southern Pacific Railroad, The Life and Times of William Penn Patrick, and Against Heaven’s Hand, made into the movie “Seven In Darkness.” He also wrote short stories.

He taught fiction extensively at many institutions, including Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley. He was a highly acclaimed keynote speaker at writing conferences across the United States. Bishop’s passion for writing influenced generations of children who adored him. His teaching at Fort Riley Middle School was filmed as a video series, “A Writer Teaches Writing.”

He attended Living Word Church, Manhattan.

Leonard Bishop was born October 17, 1922, in New York, NY, the son of Edward and Esther Bishop. Survivors include his wife Celia; four sons, Luke Bishop, Kansas City, Missouri; Matthew Bishop, Davis, California; Michael Bishop, Yorba Linda, California; and Shannon Garrett, Lawrence, Kansas; one daughter, Celia Garrett, Overland Park, Kansas; one brother, Bernard Bishop, Walton, New York; five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Memorials may be sent to the Center for Basic Cancer Research, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.