Richard H. Goldwater, President/Co-Publisher of Archie Comics, died on October 2nd after waging a courageous fight against cancer.  Goldwater, who was born in 1936, was the son of John Goldwater who had the idea to create the comic book equivalent of MGM's wholesome Andy Hardy movies in 1941. Along with Maurice Coyne and Louis Silberkleit, John Goldwater had founded MLJ Comics in 1939 and had published primarily superhero comics until the unexpected success of the first Archie comic strip, which appeared as a back-up story in Pep #22.  By 1946 the appeal of Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veroncia Lodge et al was so strong that the company had changed its name to Archie Comics.


Richard H. Goldwater joined his father's company after college and held a variety of positions at Archie Comics.  He and Louis Silberkleit's son Michael (currently Archie Comics Chairman/Co-Publisher) took the company private and through the decades they never allowed its publications to stray very far from their fathers' original vision. Though the perpetual adolescents in Archie Comics changed fashions with the times, they remained inexorably linked to the wholesome values of 1940s soda fountain culture -- a construct that was largely the product of Hollywood studios turning out movies for teens under the strictures of the Production Code.


Richard Goldwater also continued the family tradition of exploiting the Archie characters in a variety of media -- a strategy that began with an Archie radio show in 1943 and also included a newspaper comic strip (drawn for many years by Archie creator Bob Montana), as well as a variety of Saturday morning cartoons (The Archie Show), live action TV series (Sabrina), movies (Josie and the Pussycats), and even a series of Christian comic books (published by Spire Christian Comics).


Achie Comic's old school devotion to strict 'work for hire' rules led to disputes with creators (see 'Dan DeCarlo Dead at 82'), and the company was vigilant in protecting its characters, most notably in a lawsuit involving a Goodman Beaver story by Will Elder, which appeared in Harvey Kurtzman's Help! magazine in 1961 and has never been reprinted.  A recent dispute with the musical duo known as The Veronicas was settled via a cross-promotion deal (see 'The Veronicas Cross-Promote With Archie').