Publisher Jeffrey Goldman, a second-generation Angeleno, received his bachelor’s degree in English (creative writing emphasis) from UCLA, where he had the good fortune to study with both future United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and renowned Irish novelist Brian Moore. Goldman then entered the MFA playwriting program in UCLA’s Theater Department. He went on—in his never-ending but ultimately failed quest to stay in school for the rest of his life—to complete the bulk of his PhD coursework in both the Theater and Folklore Departments at UCLA, but alas the world of books called and he decided to forgo a life in academia for a career in publishing.
While at UCLA, he was the arts and entertainment editor at the Daily Bruin, and worked in the publicity department at Columbia Records, where he created press material for the likes of The Psychedelic Furs, Culture Club, and Men at Work (it was the early ‘80s, after all!). During his professional journalism career, Goldman interviewed such landmark rock and roll bands as The Clash, X, and (his personal fave) the Minutemen and reviewed or wrote features on everyone from U2, R.E.M., and Huskür Dü to Prince, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan.
Goldman published feature stories and music and theater reviews in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, New Musical Express (UK), Sounds (UK), and Studies in American Drama, among many others. He was the feature and theater editor for the Village View (which was subsequently sold to New Times Los Angeles), where he wrote offbeat feature stories and covered the Los Angeles theater scene. His interviews with playwrights Edward Albee and August Wilson were syndicated nationally by the Los Angeles Times and have been anthologized in numerous books.
After gaining exposure to the book publishing industry by working as a researcher and editor for a best-selling novelist, as well as an editor and designer for an educational book publisher, Goldman began writing and creating his own small-format reference and how-to books, which he sold as premiums and promotional items to a variety of companies, from gas station chains to direct mail order catalog corporations. He eventually expanded several of these titles—including Letter Writing Made Easy! (over 250,000 copies sold), How to Win Lotteries, Sweepstakes, and Contests (over 100,000 copies sold), and How to Find Your Family Roots (over 50,000 copies sold)—and placed them into the book, gift, and catalog trade.
His varied background in literature, folklore, theater, arts and entertainment, and popular culture heavily influenced the types of books Goldman began to publish — from Offbeat Museums to Route 66 Adventure Handbook to MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot — and today Santa Monica Press is an internationally renowned small press, known around the world for its eclectic list of books.
Goldman lives in the San Diego area with his wife and two children. He is the Board Chair for Words Alive (as well as a former recipient of their Volunteer of the Year award), a literacy non-profit organization dedicated to opening opportunities for life success by inspiring a commitment to reading. He is also on the Board of Trustees, the Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee for the La Jolla Playhouse, a non-profit theater dedicated to advancing theater as an art form and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow. Goldman is proud to say that even though he is firmly ensconced in middle age, he can still consistently hit an NBA three!