William Goldman (born August 12, 1931) is an American novelist, playwright, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter.
Goldman grew up in a Jewish family in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, the son of Marion (née Weil) and Maurice Clarence Goldman, who worked in business. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College in 1952 and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1956. He and his brother James, the playwright, shared an apartment with their friend John Kander (also Oberlin and Columbia MA) and helped out Kander, a composer, by writing the libretto for his dissertation. All three later won separate Academy Awards. (Kander was the composer of Cabaret, Chicago and a dozen other famous musicals.) Goldman lives in a penthouse apartment in New York City. His brother, James Goldman, who died in 1998, was a playwright and screenwriter.