William Ard, Dartmouth, 1944

William Ard, Dartmouth, 1944

The following are excerpts from the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine provided by the Rauner Library at Dartmouth. The notes are transcribed exactly as they were written. Taken as a group, they give glimpses into Ard’s career as it developed.

November 1948

. . . Willy Ard, advertising manager of Warner Brothers, who is responsible for that fine campaign on Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope” . . .incidentally, Willy & family just moved to Scarsdale this week. . . .”

April 1951

Bill Ard’s first novel is on the stands and he has two more on the way – he is doing promotional work for the Hal Home Co. in New York.

December 1951

Willie Ard has brought out a couple of new who-dunnits which are being published in Pocketbook editions. . .hope to have the titles for your reading lists by next month.

January 1952

Willie Ard, fast becoming a top drawer whodunit artist, has just released his third novel, The Diary. . .His books are being published in France. When he was first advised of the many thousands of francs of advance royalties he’d get, he was considering retirement. Now, after careful consideration of the current exchange rates, he’s back pounding out political ghost writings and another novel.

May 1952

Willie Ard’s glandular gum-shoe, Timothy Dane, should have little difficulty filling the Keds vacated by the roguish Mickey Spillane. On a recent trip down South, I followed Timothy through an orgy of wine, women and slaughter in The Diary,. . and en route home, picked him up again in The Perfect Frame, a title more applicable to the hero’s feminine taste than to his disastrous predicament. Good reading, though. . . what with the peculiar activities of the lady characters and Willie’s superb case of turning a trick phrase.

He didn’t use any of you guys as character references, but did assign one especially tough hoodlum with the handles of “Bull” Hinman (after the same of ’45 fame).

Pinky Corroon attended a recent cocktail party tendered Willie by his publisher.

June 1952

Bill Ard is doing O.K. as shown by the enclosed clipping from New Rochelle’s daily newspaper. (Article is entitled ‘Ard Authors Best Seller’). Bill lives in a new apartment development here.

The following is the May 1952 article.

“Ard Authors Best Seller”

A “pocket book” edition of a “best seller” first mystery novel by William T. Ard of New Rochelle was published today.

The book, titled “The Perfect Frame,” has been reviewed by critics as “high-powered,” “clever,” “vigorous” and a “top-notch mystery by a promising newcomer. Popular Library is the pocket publisher.

Mr. Ard, who lives at 84 Cooper Drive, is a Dartmouth graduate and Marine Corps veteran.

Two other books by him have been published, two more are scheduled for early publication, and he is working on a fifth. An accomplished golfer, he recently wrote “If I Were Your Golf Shoes,” which he ghost wrote for ex-champ Johnny Farrel.

March 1954

A PRIVATE PARTY By William Ard ’44 New York Rinehart 1953 212 pp $2.50

Mr. Ard is the author of two previous thrillers, The Diary and .38. In A Private Party the shock-receptive public is entertained with a liberal mixture of murder, mystery, detection, hate, lust and love.

The main plot provides effective suspense. Big Al Stanzyck, the criminal boss of a stevedore union, is murdered under circumstances that divide suspicion among his crooked partners, his curvilinear moll, a disgruntled chauffeur, some indignant cops, and other plausible exterminators. None mourn. Characters in this combative world are generally hard-boiled.

May 1954

. . .Willy Ard’s latest novel, A Private Party, which kept me up till all hours. Of his novel, the Richmond Dispatch says, “It goes bang-bang from end to end, with bedtime interludes’; the conservative New York Times, “William Ard has (still) managed to keep his novels gratifyingly distinct from each other, and each one better than the last. . . I think even those of you who shun most private eyes will find this something of a masterpiece of compressed narration”; The Birmingham News, “The writing of William Ard, unlike that of many in the fiction field, undoubtedly improves with age like whiskey in a charred keg”; and the good old Boston Globe, “Good tight story with likely sounding police background and tough, without braggadocio about it. Top flight.”

* * *

The alumni magazine’s obituary which appeared in June 1960, says that Ard attended Tuckahoe, NY high school “where he was president of the G.O. and a member of the football, basketball and baseball teams. At Dartmouth he was a member of Sigma Chi and early gave evidence of his extraordinary literary talents.”

The obituary ends with “The deepest sympathy of the entire Dartmouth family is with Bill’s family. His life, however short, was one of great accomplishment and it is with pride that we can reflect on our association with him.”

* * *

For a fascinating look at Ard the student and Ard the alumnus, click here.


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