Temple Williams

Temple E. Williams


Temple entered Yale with our Class but did not stay to graduate. He and I were fraternity brothers in Phi Gamma Delta and we briefly dated two girls who were roommates, so we spent a good bit of time together in 1963 or thereabouts. I looked him up in 1964 when he was a reporter for the “World Telegram,” a New York City tabloid, after spotting a huge photo of Temple on the front page of that newspaper with him in uniform bearing the caption, “I Was a Subway Cop.” We lost track of one another over the years, as was so often the case before the advent of the Internet and email, but in anticipation of our 55th Reunion I tracked him down in Florida to urge that he attend, at which time we had a catch up. During the conversation it came up that we had both written books which were bit of a personal memoir. The book of his that he suggested that I read was, “The Warrior Patient,” I enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone of you who wants to read about a former classmate who lived an extremely interesting and eventful life. In addition to detailing Temple’s battles with the at times glaring inefficiencies of our healthcare system, the book also provides a narrative of his life…from his experiences in the Marine Corps, as a reporter, as a mercenary in Africa, as an editor and publisher, and then finally as a novelist.

One story about Temple which has stuck in my mind over the years involves an incident from back in our Yale days. Temple was an accomplished boxer, (okay, back then a bit of a brawler). At Dartmouth most of the football team was in the the Phi Gam chapter there, much as many of our team members were in the DKE house at Yale. In 1963 after the Yale vs. Dartmouth home game we had the Dartmouth team at our fraternity party that Saturday evening. During the course of the evening one big bruiser was acting extremely obnoxious and pinched the wrong date on the butt. Temple tapped him on the shoulder, they had a few words, and then Temple knocked him out cold with one punch! He went down like a sack of cement. Of course the whole place went up for grabs and the campus cops had to restore order.

Our 55th reunion did not occur because of Covid, and I had planned to call Temple again to urge his attendance at our upcoming 60th, when I learned that he had passed away in 2022. That would have been not long after we had last communicated. A life well lived, albeit with its challenges.

— Bob Leich


Temple Emmet Williams passed away on Friday, May 6, 2022. Temple was born November 10, 1942 in Cleveland, Ohio, attended Hotchkiss School and entered Yale University with the Class of 1965. In 1964, after departing Yale, he was a journalist for the World Telegram and Sun in New York City, and was nominated twice for a Pulitzer for a 7-day, front-page series called “I Was A Subway Cop,” for which he went undercover to expose corruption in that agency. He served in the United States Marine Corps.

Temple had a distinguished career in journalism as a publisher, as an editor, and as an author. He lived in Africa for six years and in Europe almost as long. His award-winning books include “Warrior Patient,” which was a memoir, and three thrillers: “Wrinkled Heartbeats,” “Poison Heartbeats,” and “African Heartbeats.”

In later years he and his wife, Kerstin, made their home in Boca Raton, Florida.