Harvey Aronson

Harvey Aronson (born May 1929[1]) is an American journalist and journalism teacher, and a former Newsday editor who also wrote or co-wrote several books. He was part of a group of Newsday reporters involved in writing the bestselling hoax novel Naked Came the Stranger, initially credited to fictional author Penelope Ashe, and published as a parody of commercialized book publishing in general and of novels in the genre of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls in particular.[2] Aronson co-edited the project with his colleague, Mike McGrady, who had conceived the idea, and Aronson also wrote a chapter of the book about a character described in a later news article as "Melvin Corby, a meek real-estate lawyer, unsatisfied in his marriage yet incapable of adultery, the only character in the book thus afflicted."[3] In a Life magazine article written after the ruse was revealed, Aronson commented that he thought the book had ended up being more comedic than pornographic, and he opined that Susann "writes about sex as if she were a virgin".[4]

Aronson later published his own novel, The Golden Shore (1982), about the development of Miami Beach, but the book, which Kirkus Reviews called a "routine biz-family-saga",[5] did not go beyond a first edition.[citation needed] Among his other books are The Defense Never Rests (1971), an autobiography of lawyer F. Lee Bailey co-written by Aronson,[6] and a 1973 book about the killing of Mafia figure Joey Gallo.[7]

Aronson grew up in New York City, where his father was a sometime professional boxer who fought under the name "Kid Aron". Aronson attended Syracuse University.[8] Aronson is married to Irene Virag, who was also a Newsday reporter when they met. Aronson and Virag both became founding members of the faculty of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism when it was established in 2006.[9]


  1. ^ John Hanc & Ed Lowe, Jones Beach: An Illustrated History (Globe Pequot Press, 2007), ISBN 978-0-7627-4024-6, p. 105. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  2. ^ "Naked Came the Stranger, but he can afford to dress now", Associated Press in Montreal Gazette, August 7, 1969, p.22.
  3. ^ John Woestendiek, "The truth's stranger than fiction: Newsday staffers wrote fake book to prove that sex sells", Chicago Tribune, March 4, 2004.
  4. ^ "Naked truth about the great novel hoax", Life magazine, August 22, 1969, pp.69-70.
  5. ^ Review of The Golden Shore by Harvey Aronson, Kirkus Reviews (accessed March 2, 2012).
  6. ^ Patrick Wall, Review of The Defense Never Rests By F. Lee Bailey with Harvey Aronson, The New York Times, January 23, 1972 (pay site).
  7. ^ Review of The Killing of Joey Gallo by Harvey Aronson, Kirkus Reviews (accessed March 2, 2012).
  8. ^ J. Richard Munro, "Letter From The Publisher", Sports Illustrated, March 23, 1970.
  9. ^ Arielle Dollinger and Priscila Korb, "Twenty Years of News, Love and Coffee", The Stony Brook Press, February 7, 2012.

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