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Hotshots: Author Roberta Morgan [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Photo by Donna Victor
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

This article, part of our monthly Hotshots series, received a first place Charlie Award for Best Column from The Florida Magazine Association

PINT-SIZED POWERHOUSE ROBERTA MORGAN may seem like an unlikely candidate to write a book about professional wrestling. But she isn’t one to pass on a challenge.

In 1979, at the ripe age of 26, Morgan’s wrestling book, “The Main Event,” made the B. Dalton bestseller list after it sold 100,000 copies. Among the memorabilia she holds dear from her research is a photograph of herself in the arms of wrestling star Andre the Giant.

Now 38, Morgan is something of a giant herself.

“The Main Event” is just one of eight books Morgan has written. Most of her titles have focused on health topics. “The Emotional Pharmacy” dealt with drugs prescribed for mentally ill patients. “The Paris Diet” is a treatise on staying trim by eating gourmet recipes created by top chefs in Paris. She is now working on a book about the history of the Burdines department store chain. Miami-based Pickering Press will publish it later this year.

A native of New York, Morgan graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from New York University in 1973. Among her assorted occupations, she once was a back-up singer for the jazz/rock group Spyro Gyra. But rock stardom didn’t appeal to her: “I’m probably too bourgeois or too educated or too virginal in my thinking to really succeed in that kind of barracuda atmosphere.”

Since moving to Miami in 1989, she has blossomed as a playwright. Four plays written by Morgan have been staged at theaters in South Florida—two at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

Her most recent play, “The List,” is a thriller about a woman who seeks revenge on a cheerleader who bullied her in high school. It just wound up a four-week stand in Fort Lauderdale. A Miami Herald critic panned the play for it’s “a web of improbabilities.” But Morgan was undaunted.

“I am just doing the best I can,” she says. “My work is still in progress. I have set up my life to be an adventure. I know people who are 50 and 60 years old and sit around and say ‘I wish I had done this or that.’ I guess that makes me think that anything I have on my mind to do, I should at least try.”

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"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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