Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Leslie Morris Golden  

Pen Name: Les Golden, Leslie M. Golden, Leslie Golden

Genre: Fiction Mystery Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Leslie Morris Golden on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Les Golden was born in Illinois on December 4, an identical twin. He attended Horace Mann elementary school and Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park. He earned the B. S. , with Distinction, and the M. Engineering Physics from Cornell University, and the M. A. and the Ph. D in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to permanent residency in Illinois in 1980. His academic appointments in Illinois include the graduate school of business at Roosevelt University and as a member of Physics Department and Honors College of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Les Golden is a Renaissance Man, a writer, performer, academic, and animal welfare and environmental activist. He is stand-up comedian, jazz trumpet player and vocalist, bandleader, developer of music notation software, jazz disc jockey, basketball play-by-play announcer, and professional actor with over 100 stage, film, television, radio, and commercial credits. He was one of the founders of the prestigious University of California Jazz Ensembles and the play-by-play voice of California Golden Bears basketball. and performed research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory before becoming a professor in the Physics Department and Honors College at the University of Illinois at Chicago He has appeared numerous times as an actor on the live-broadcast productions of Unshackled! He was a featured regular on the Eddie Hubbard Show radio program as the character Jeffrey Clayton Maxwell from Bhutan. He is a member of both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). He was a charter member of Chicago's Porchlight Theatre Ensemble. He has appeared in featured roles with Broderick Crawford, Tippi Hedren, Troy Donahue, Charlotte Ross, Susan Hart, Robert Petkoff, David Darlow, Bruce Jarchow, Paula Scrofano, and others.As Flash Golden, he was the play-by-play announcer for the California Golden Bears basketball radio broadcasts and hosted Flash's Jazz Patio on KALX-FM. As a stand-up comedian, he has performed at San Francisco's Holy City Zoo, the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, the Comedy Cottage in Chicago, as well as on the college circuit, Playboy Club, and other clubs. He appears both as himself, Les Golden, and as Subrahmanyan Berkowitz from Bhutan. He is a published editorial cartoonist and jazz critic.As a writer, Les Golden has published in various genre including screenplays, theatrical plays, a political candidate guide, and astronomy textbooks. He is a published jazz critic and editorial cartoonist. He has published numerous technical articles as an astronomer and numerous articles on the history of science. He is a prolific letter writer, having had nearly 200 letters published in the local press as well as the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. He is internationally known as a gambling writer, having written over 100 columns on blackjack, craps, and roulette for four British gambling magazines. His research into the gambling game of 21 has been published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. His most recent monograph is "Laboratory Experiments in Physics for Modern Astronomy," published by Springer Science + Business.Les Golden has won numerous awards for his writing. These include the prestigious Eric Hoffer and Lili Fabilli Laconic Essay Prize, the International Compuserve Magazine Essay Contest, several awards from the Engineering College Magazines Association (ECMA), the First Place Prize in the Nicolaus Copernicus International Essay Competition (American Council of Polish Cultural Clubs), and an award in the Griffith Observatory Science Writing Competition.'s website refers to Golden as " magazine's resident blackjack genius." Les Golden addresses adult and student audiences on the possibility of extraterrestrial life and the hypothetical shapes of their bodies. A frequent cruise ship lecturer, he was selected by Royal Cruise Lines to be their shipboard lecturer on the high seas during the 1986 apparition of Halley's Comet, and was the first University of Illinois professor selected to be a professor on the Institute of Shipboard Education's (ISE) Semester at Sea program, teaching courses on astronomy and the possibility of extraterrestrial life in the fall semester of 1996. Among his popular writings on astronomy and public presentations, he has been the featured speaker at the meeting of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association and was the keynote speaker for Chicago's Adler Planetarium on the occasion of the dedication of their new wing.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Non-Linear Mind of Professor Les Golden
ISBN: 1930532903

Lyceum Worldwide Publishers. 2014

As comedian Tom Dreeson writes in his cover endorsement: I've always thought there was no such book that was a must read. I was wrong. This hilarious and insightful book is a must read over and over again. It will be in my travel bag the rest of my career.

The brilliant, thought-provoking, and outrageous Les Golden exemplifies the philosophy that the best life is spent developing one s creativity. Les introduction on the General Theory of Creativity is a must read for any actor, writer, musician, comedian, composer, dancer, fine artist, teacher, director, you name it anyone who desires that skill. If you want to experience a truly creative mind, and like to laugh very hard, you ll treasure this book.

The brilliant, thought-provoking, and outrageous Les Golden exemplifies the philosophy that the best life is spent developing the aesthetic and spiritual values of creativity, the challenge of humanism. If you want to experience a truly creative mind, read this book. Just by itself, Les introduction on the General Theory of Creativity is a must read for any actor, writer, musician, comedian, composer, dancer, fine artist, teacher, director, you name it anyone who desires that skill.

He also teaches that it s okay to laugh out loud, which you ll do when you read this book. How can one be more human?

Funny? My belly still aches from laughing. Les Golden s book is one of the most entertaining, fascinating, iconoclastic, and outrageous things you ll ever read, and all in the same place.

When Les was performing in workshops at Second City, some of the best talent in the country would come and watch him. His writing is like a good Lenny Bruce monologue or a good jazz solo. When he encounters an idea, in whatever context he s writing, he ll take off on that idea and examine it, and in a funny, intriguing, iconoclastic way. His ruminations on math and astronomy, especially, seem like Carl Sagan meeting Shelley Berman, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, and Bob Newhart.

The range of topics Les discusses is unworldly. Les Golden s book will teach you how to count cards at blackjack, kick a football, break government codes, communicate with extraterrestrials, and get girls. Dr. Golden presents topics such as the possible shapes of extraterrestrials, card counting, and logic puzzles in an intriguing and usually outrageous manner.

This man is dangerous. As the warning notes, Do not read this while operating power tools!!

The U.S. surgeon general has reported that reading this book will extend your lifespan.

Les Golden is a threat to Western Civilization as we know it.

Apparently, after their dawn prayers, the monks in Tibet read this book.

Did I hear that the Gideons have decided to put Les Golden s book in motel rooms?

If you re a lawyer, surgeon, accountant, astronomer, physicist, statistician, actor, musician, corporate executive, banker, psychiatrist, Olympic athlete, casino operator, barber, MBA, bureaucrat, card counter, manufacturer of loaded dice, telemarketer, politician, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Jew, teenager, adult, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, Oriental, white, black, native American, Arab, Mexican, Canadian, European, Biospherian, man, woman, or alien living on Uretria or Kemanawanilaya, or in Minsk -- and you like to laugh very hard you ll treasure this book.

Laboratory Experiments in Physics for Modern Astronomy: With Comprehensive Development of the Physical Principles
ISBN: 146143310X

Springer. 2012

This book presents experiments which will teach physics relevant to astronomy. The astronomer, as instructor, frequently faces this need when his college or university has no astronomy department and any astronomy course is taught in the physics department. The physicist, as instructor, will find this intellectually appealing when faced with teaching an introductory astronomy course. From these experiments, the student will acquire important analytical tools, learn physics appropriate to astronomy, and experience instrument calibration and the direct gathering and analysis of data. Experiments that can be performed in one laboratory session as well as semester-long observation projects are included.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Les Golden is represented through Baker and Rowley Talent, Chicago, Illinois - 312-957-7599. His literary agency is the Mark Morris Agency, Chicago, Illinois - 773-837-3146. Les Golden's minimum appearance fee is $300.