By John Blaine (pseud.)



"Rick Brant and his pal, Scotty, have the kind of adventures all boys would like to have. They live on an island called Spindrift where Rick's father heads a group of scientists working in the field of electronics. Here and abroad, the boys encounter many thrilling adventures and solve many baffling mysteries."
         -- G&D Advertisement

"John Blaine" was a pseudonym of Harold Leland Goodwin and Peter J. Harkins. Harold Goodwin died in 1990 at the age of 75. His obituary, in the Washington Post, read:

Harold Leland Goodwin, 75, a retired government official and a prolific author who wrote science adventure books for boys and several books for general readers about space exploration and other technical matters, died of cardiac arrest Feb. 18 at his home in Bethesda.

For his entry in "Contemporary Authors," Mr. Goodwin described himself as a "specialist in communicating subjects for laymen through all media. Usually a book grows out of my enthusiasm about a subject, often a spinoff from my technical work."

A scuba diver and Marine veteran of World War II who was at different times an official of the old Federal Civil Defense Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Mr. Goodwin had considerable experience on which to draw. His largest enterprise was writing 26 volumes in the "Rick Brant Science Adventure" series for boys. The first volume, "Rocket's Shadow," appeared in 1947. The most recent, "The Magic Talisman," came out this year. All were written under the pseudonym John Blaine. Mr. Goodwin's factual books included "The Science Book of Space Travel," published in 1955, "Space: Frontier Unlimited," published in 1962, and "Challege of the Seven Seas," which he wrote with Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.) and which appeared in 1966. In addition, Mr. Goodwin wrote several underwater adventures under the name of Hal Grodon and science fiction under the name of Blake Savage.

Mr. Goodwin was born in Ellenburg, N.Y. He grew up in Springfield, Mass., and attended the Elliot Radio Academy there. In 1940, he came to Washington as a correspondent for Trans Radio News Service. Following his service as a combat correspondent in the Marine Corps in the Pacific in World War II, he went to Manila as a State Department official.

In 1950, Mr. Goodwin returned to Washington. From 1951 to 1958, he was a public affairs official in the Federal Civil Defense Administration, where he worked on several nuclear tests. In 1954, he was one of 10 young men in government chosen by the Junior Chamber of Commerce for its Arthur S. Flemming Award.

In 1958, Mr. Goodwin was named science adviser to the U.S. Information Agency. In 1961, he joined NASA, and in 1967 he went to the National Science Foundation as deputy director of the National Sea Grant Program. In 1970, the program was transfered to NOAA, then a newly organized agency in the Department of Commerce, and Mr. Goodwin went with it. He retired from the government in 1974.

In 1971, he received the Commerce Department's Silver Medal.

Mr. Goodwin was a member of the National Association of Diving Instructors, the Washington Book Guild, the Antarctican Society, the American Science Film Association, and other professional groups. He also was a member of the American Littoral Society, which in 1973 gave him its James Dugan Award for his contributions to aquatic science.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, the former Elizabeth "Libby" Swensk, of Bethesda; three sons, Alan C. Goodwin of Plymouth, Minn., Dr. R. Christopher Godwin of Newmarket, Md., and Derek V. Goodwin of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and three grandchildren.

Rick Brant on the WWW:


  1. The Rocket's Shadow -- 1947, Grosset & Dunlap.

  2. The Lost City -- 1947, Grosset & Dunlap.

  3. Sea Gold -- 1947, Grosset & Dunlap.

  4. 100 Fathoms Under -- 1947, Grosset & Dunlap.

  5. The Whispering Box Mystery -- 1948, Grosset & Dunlap; 1960, Low, Marston.

  6. The Phantom Shark -- 1949, Grosset & Dunlap; 1961, Low, Marston.

  7. Smuggler's Reef -- 1950, Grosset & Dunlap.

  8. The Caves of Fear -- 1951, Grosset & Dunlap.

  9. Stairway to Danger -- 1952, Grosset & Dunlap.

  10. The Golden Skull  -- 1954, Grosset & Dunlap.

  11. The Wailing Octopus -- 1956, Grosset & Dunlap.

  12. The Electronic Mind Reader -- 1957, Grosset & Dunlap.

  13. The Scarlet Lake Mystery -- 1958, Grosset & Dunlap.

  14. The Pirates of Shan -- 1958, Grosset & Dunlap.

  15. The Blue Ghost Mystery -- 1960, Grosset & Dunlap.}

  16. The Egyptian Cat Mystery -- 1961, Grosset & Dunlap.

  17. The Flaming Mountain -- 1962, Grosset & Dunlap.

  18. The Flying Stingaree -- 1963, Grosset & Dunlap.

  19. The Ruby Ray Mystery -- 1964, Grosset & Dunlap.

  20. The Veiled Raiders -- 1965, Grosset & Dunlap.

  21. Rocket Jumper -- 1966, Grosset & Dunlap.

  22. The Deadly Dutchman -- cover and frontispiece illustrations by J. Clemens Gretter. 1967, Grosset & Dunlap; 1986, Mystery and Adventure Series Review.

  23. Danger Below! -- 1968, Grosset and Dunlap.

  24. The Magic Talisman -- "Rick Brant and his friends solve a baffling mystery involving a disappearing magician" -- 1989, Manuscript Press, Mountain Home, TN.

Rick Brant's Science Projects -- 1960, Grosset and Dunlap.


Grosset and Dunlap advertisement
Washington Post, Final Edition, Wednesday, February 21, 1990
WorldCat Holdings

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