David Delman, 87, ad man, author, reviewer of crime novels

Posted: September 15, 2012

David Delman, 87, of Wynnewood, a former Philadelphia advertising executive, author and reviewer of mystery novels, died Thursday, Sept. 13, of lung cancer at Lankenau Hospital.

Until earlier this month, Mr. Delman critiqued mystery novels for Kirkus Reviews, which each month publishes prepublication evaluations of works for outlets such as libraries, bookstores, and media outlets.

He had begun reviewing for Kirkus after retiring as senior vice president at the former Philadelphia firm Gray & Rogers in the late 1980s, a granddaughter, Sarah Edelman, said.

Mr. Delman was a regular freelance viewer of mystery novels for The Inquirer.

"He considered himself an ad man," his granddaughter said, "but writing was most central to his life."

She recalled that "he wrote regularly throughout his career. He would come home from work, and he would write from 8 p.m. to 10 or 10:30 p.m."

His works were published by, among others, Doubleday and St. Martin's Press, she said.

He got into writing fiction, she said, "because he thought it would be fun."

Born in Scranton, Mr. Delman graduated from William Taft High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1943 and served as an Army surveyor in the Philippines during World War II.

Mr. Delman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at Pennsylvania State University in 1948 and a master's in English literature at the University of Pennsylvania in 1951.

He was a sports reporter for the former Uniontown (Pa.) Morning Herald and from 1952 to 1958 was a salesman for a lingerie manufacturer in Philadelphia.

Mr. Delman began at Gray & Rogers in 1961 and was its creative director before retiring in 1988 as a senior vice president.

Besides his granddaughter Sarah, Mr. Delman is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughters Betsy Sherwood, Jane Delman, and Nancy Forbes; a sister; and seven other grandchildren.

A private memorial service is planned.

Contact Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.

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