John Bell Clayton and Martha Clayton
John Bell Clayton II (c. 1907-1955) was a "prolific writer of short stories" who won an O. Henry Short Story Award in 1947. His wife, Martha Carmichael Clayton (c. 1915-1961), oversaw the posthumous publication of her husband's works; she was a sister of songwriter Hoagy Carmichael.
John Bell Clayton
John Clayton was born in Craigsville, Virginia, and was graduated from the University of Virginia before becoming a journalist. In 1938, he had a film credit as the writer on a comedy, The Old Raid Mule. 
In 1947 he won the O. Henry Short Story Award for The White Circle, originally in Harpers magazine. Ten years later, the story was made into a teleplay for the television series Rendezvous. 
According to his friend, Charles Harris (Brick) Garrigues, the Claytons moved from San Francisco to Laguna Beach, where, on Feb. 10, 1955, John Clayton died of a viral infection. John had told his wife when he went into the hospital, "Marthie, if the next ten years are going to be like the last one, I don't think I want to come back.":428–430
Martha Carmichael Clayton
Martha Clayton was born as Martha Carmichael in Indiana. Her father was Howard, nicknamed "Cyclone," who owned a livery and was an electrician. Her mother, Lida Mary, was a pianist in local movie and vaudeville houses. Besides her brother, Hoagland, Martha had two other siblings — Joanne, who died in childhood, and Georgia.
In 1957, she oversaw the publication of her husband's posthumous book of short stories, The Strangers Were There: Selected Stories (1957). The deal was placed with Macmillan by the Claytons' agent, Toni Strassman.
Martha's body was found on August 6, 1961, by her sister, Georgia, in the Beverly Hills house that their brother had bought for them. Alcohol and a sleeping pill were blamed for her death. Hoagy recalled in his autobiography, Sometimes I Wonder (Farrar, Straus, 1965), that after John Clayton's death Martha "gathered up his papers and manuscript and made another book for him, and then one night while still young and healthy, she quietly let go."
- ^ a b c d "Death Takes Novelist John B. Clayton II," Los Angeles Times, February 11, 1955, page 21
- ^ Internet Movie Database
- ^ a b c George Garrigues, He Usually Lived With a Female: The Life of a California Newspaperman, 2006, Quail Creek Press, Los Angeles ISBN 0-9634830-1-3
- ^ Internet Movie Database
- ^ a b Library of Congress catalog
- ^ Dick Bishop, "Remembering Hoagy," inIndiana Alumni Magazine, September-October 1999
- ^ Sometimes I Wonder by Hoagy Carmichael, with Steven Longstreet (Farrar, Straus, 1965)
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