William Goldman (born August 12, 1931) is an American novelist, playwright and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. He lives in New York City.
Goldman grew up in a Jewish family in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois. His brother was James Goldman, a playwright and screenwriter who died in 1998. William Goldman obtained a BA degree at Oberlin College in 1952 and a MA degree at Columbia University in 1956.
According to Goldman's memoir, Adventures in the Screen Trade, Goldman began writing when he took a creative writing course in college. He did not originally intend to become a screenwriter. His main interests were poetry, short stories, and novels. William Goldman published five novels and had three plays produced on Broadway before he began to write screenplays. He wrote mostly serious literary works until the death of his first agent when he then began writing thrillers starting with Marathon Man.