Very charming biographical article about Norman!

Forwarded from: Ken Chawkin <>

Memorial post for Norman Zierold: Hollywood biographer, novelist, TM Teacher, 
member of Maharishi’s Purusha program, raconteur, publicist, beloved by all.

For those who live in Fairfield, Iowa, and can make it, there will be a special 
memorial service and cremation at Behner Funeral Home today, Friday, March 9 at 
2pm. <> 
Norman Zierold: Hollywood biographer, novelist, TM Teacher, member of 
Maharishi’s Purusha program, raconteur, publicist, beloved by all

Norman Zierold: 7/26/1927–3/7/2018
A close friend and colleague, Norman Zierold, passed from this world early 
Wednesday morning, March 7, 2018. Beloved by all, he lived a long, culturally 
rich and spiritually devoted life.  
Born and raised in the Amana Colonies, Norman enlisted in the navy, graduated 
cum laude from Harvard, and earned a master’s degree in English Literature at 
the University of Iowa. He spent two years in France on a French Government 
Teaching Assistantship, then a decade in New York City, where he taught at 
Brearley School, worked at Collier’s Encyclopedia, then Theater Arts Magazine 
and Show.

Norman wrote eight books: true crime novels, tales of Hollywood’s golden age, 
and science fiction: The Child Stars, (1966); Little Charlie Ross, (1967); 
Three Sisters in Black, (1968), which won a Special Edgar Allen Poe Award; The 
Moguls; Garbo; (both 1969); The Skyscraper Doom, (1972); Sex Goddesses of the 
Silent Screen, (1973); and his final book, That Reminds Me, A Conversational 
Memoir (2013).

In 1972, Norman began the practice of Transcendental Meditation. He became a TM 
teacher and taught the technique to hundreds in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He later 
joined Maharishi’s Purusha program and eventually moved to Fairfield, Iowa in 
2002. Norman became part of a dynamic media team at Maharishi University of 
Management under the direction of Bob Roth. Norman’s accomplishments there were 

Those of us who worked with Norman over the years were always impressed by his 
work ethic and ability to charm writers, editors, and producers into reporting 
on TM. Bob Roth, now CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, is fond of telling the 
story of how Norman inspired a national TV profile on the NBC Today Show for TM 
and the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse 
<> in inner city Detroit.

A few years later, when Bob and David Lynch showed it to Ray Dalio in a private 
meeting, it inspired him to give the David Lynch Foundation a donation of a 
million dollars for more school projects. This was the start of an ongoing 
relationship with DLF, now in 35 countries, and led to millions more over the 
years for many at-risk groups. Bob feels the successful launch of the 
Foundation was largely due to Norman’s efforts, and prepared a special message 
<> about him for 
today’s memorial service.

Norman is survived by his sister Loretta Wolf, nephews Geoffrey and Mark, and 
niece Candice. A memorial service and cremation ceremony will take place 
Friday, March 9, 2018 at Behner Funeral Home in Fairfield.

Rustin Larson 
 published poet and MUM librarian, interviewed Norman Zierold 
 on the publication of his book, That Reminds Me, A Conversational Memoir 
 Enjoy this interview <>, which took 
place in the MUM Library. There is a short separate introduction 
<> by librarian Suzanne Vesely. 
Both videos were posted March 2, 2013 on mumlibrary 
<>. Margot Suettmann 
posted a link to this video on Facebook when she found out about Norman’s 
passing. She also posted a lovely comment there about Norman that captures him 
perfectly. I’ve included them both below.

Margot Suettmann <>: I did 
not know Norman that well for a long time, but he left a deep impression on me 
as a very gentle, refined and also intellectual or let’s say: well educated 
person. I saw him often on the road walking up and down and doing his errands. 
He was tall and slim and his gait was very typical for him. He immediately 
learned my name – soon after I had arrived in Fairfield – and thus greeted me 
always with my name “Margot” which is something special. One feels appreciated 
and familiar with a person who takes the effort. I also knew he was a good 
friend of Ken Chawkin’s whom I consider a good and old friend myself. I knew 
Ken before I came to MUM. I also may have read some of Norman’s media press 
releases at times. He was working in the media department of MUM. I got to know 
him a little better at the memorial or obituary lunch for Sally Peden 
 which Ken Chawkin had organized at Revelations as I happened to sit next to 
Norman. Of course we started to talk about different subjects and I noticed his 
refined personality and his rich educational background and the way he 
expressed himself verbally in a cautious and knowledgeable way. Probably what I 
appreciated most was his gentleness and his intuition for other’s feelings and 
handling them with caution and tenderness. I also admired his bravery how he 
mastered his life in his old age. He never complained and trod his way up and 
down the road unperturbed – and of course he loved and appreciated deeply to 
live in Fairfield. He was very independent in his inner Self and a noble 
personality in some way. And I remember most his kindness.

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