Published: May 15, 2012
Michael J. Gould died May 4 after a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Cunningham Gould, and four children and their spouses: Lisa and Michael Parley; David Gould; Daniel and Susan Gould; and Peter Gould. He was predeceased by his brother, Jay, former chairman of the University of Vermont’s political science department.
Michael was born in 1927 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the son of Yvette and David Gould. His father was head of MGM for Latin America and of United Artists for Asia. The family traveled widely, living in Puerto Rico and later the Philippines. A graduate of Coburn Academy in Maine and of New York University, Michael proudly served in the US Army and was honorably discharged at the rank of first lieutenant.
He had a long, varied career in the early television industry, including producing and distributing television shows for David Frost and Mike Douglas as vice president of Westinghouse Broadcasting, and oversaw syndication of Hanna-Barbera’s famed animated series as vice president and general manager of Taft/Hanna-Barbera. Sardi’s bar and 21 were favorite spots for conducting business.
He was also founder and president of Gould Entertainment Corporation (GEC), which specialized in domestic and international television syndication. Among GEC’s original shows was an award-winning documentary series The American Presidents, hosted and narrated by James Garner.
With his wife Marilyn, Michael was a devotee and sophisticated connoisseur of American art and antiques. Completely self-taught, art was a great passion in his life. His last major collection, exhibited at the New Britain Museum of American Art in 2007, focused on American Modernism from 1918 to 1949. But the Goulds’ taste in American art and artifacts was eclectic, ranging from Nineteenth Century folk art and Civil War ephemera to American Arts and Crafts furniture, pottery and silver.
He was an avid reader of history and biography, and the Gould collection of art, antiques and architecture books exceeded those of many libraries. The family lived in Chicago, Old Westbury, N.Y., and Wilton, but Chicago placed its stamp on them. Michael and the Goulds were and are devoted Cubs and Bears fans. Throughout his working life in New York City, Michael maintained a residence on West 57th Street, which permitted him to boulevardier to galleries and museums, art and antiques shows.
Michael was also a fixture at Marilyn’s many antiques and crafts shows †from New Hampshire to Virginia †especially those conducted at the Field House in Wilton. Together, they seldom missed a show anywhere in over 30 years. Arousing mixed reactions, especially during dealer move-in and move-out, Michael’s primary role was to “entertain” customers waiting in early buyers lines with his jokes and antics, always wearing a Cubs cap.
A memorial get-together will be conducted in June.
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