• U.S.

The Press: Ghost

2 minute read

Ghostwriters inhabit a harried, hectic Hades of their own, hacking out words and thoughts for other men at 1½¢ to 8¢ per word. Last week ghostwriters everywhere started up from their typewriters and raised a hollow cheer for one Bernard J. Kenny of Jersey City, N. J.

Since 1934, according to proceedings instituted in Trenton’s Chancery Court, Mr. Kenny has spent much time ghosting a two-volume legal tome to sell for $30 under the title of Dougal Herr on Marriage, Divorce and Separation in New Jersey. His pay at first was $40 a week, was later reported at $50 and $60. In addition his author-employer, Advisory Master in Chancery Dougal Herr, gave him a 40% stock interest in a firm called Legal Publications, Inc. of Hoboken, formed to publish and sell the book.

But Ghost Kenny, an Iowa-trained lawyer by profession, had visions of much better things. Last week, as 3,000 copies of Dougal Herr on Marriage, etc. were going through the bindery, Author Herr got a temporary restraining order to prevent the sale of his own book.

He alleged that: 1) Ghost Kenny got together with William A. Kaufmann, Author Herr’s law partner and holder of 20% of the stock of Legal Publications, Inc.; 2) controlling a combined 60% of the stock, Kenny and Kaufmann thereupon voted themselves $400 a week salaries out of proceeds from selling the book; 3) Kenny, who had been hired principally to do laborious legal research, rewrote the preface to give himself credit for his work, an unheard of action for a ghost.

Sadly Author Herr disclosed he had sunk $21,300 in his literary venture to date.

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