Speed Vogel

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Irving "Speed" Vogel (March 3, 1918 – April 14, 2008) was an American sculptor, painter, and co-author, along with Joseph Heller, of the best-selling[1] memoir, No Laughing Matter.

He was born in New York City and was the fourth of five children of his father Julius who was a builder. He was educated at West Virginia University and attended pre-med classes at New York University but with the beginning of World War II started working as a shipbuilder. Later he started his own textile business Ria Herlinger Fabrics together with his first wife. Later he became a furniture producer and left this business at a relatively early age when he retired. After which he dedicated himself to painting and sculpting.[2]

A textile businessman and associate of Gwathmey Siegel, he was also member of the "Gourmet Club," an assemblage of writers, artists and showbusiness people (which included Mel Brooks and Mario Puzo, among others), who gathered weekly from the 1960s to the 1980s to eat and talk at Chinese restaurants in New York City.[3]

In the 1960s Vogel met Joseph Heller, best known for his novel Catch-22 and they became good friends. In 1982 Heller was diagnosed with "Guillain-Barre syndrome" which provokes paralysis. Vogel moved in to Heller' house to help him to recover. They alternatively wrote the chapters in their best-seller No Laughing Matter which was published in 1986. The book was on the "New York Times best-seller list for four weeks".[4]

He has five children of his three marriages. Vogel died of natural causes at his home in Sag Harbor, New York. He was 90.[5][4]


  1. ^ "Speed Vogel, Author’s Aide, Dies at 90" - The New York Times
  2. ^ James Robert Parish, "It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks", published by John Wiley & Sons, 2008, p.124-125
  3. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/30/obituaries/30goodman.html
  4. ^ a b Speed Vogel, Author’s Aide, Dies at 90 by BRUCE WEBERAPRIL 18, 2008 Retrieved on 1 Mar 2018
  5. ^ "Speed Vogel Obituary" - Reuters

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