Jack Carter Richardson was an American writer born in Manhattan, N.Y. although his birthplace has been erroneously reported elsewhere as "Bristol, VA". He was known for his existentialist dramas of the early 1960s.
Raised in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, New York City, Richardson later served in the Counter Intelligence Corps in the United States Army during the Korean War. He then earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Columbia University, and studied at the University of Munich. In 1960, his first play, The Prodigal, a retelling of the story of Orestes, was produced Off-Broadway to critical acclaim, winning an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award. Gallows Humor, a 1961 combination of two short plays, was also well received. Richardson's next two plays, Lorenzo and Xmas in Las Vegas, were produced on Broadway, but were critical and commercial failures.
From the 1960s, Richardson wrote dramatic criticism and essays for The New York Times, New York Review of Books, Esquire, and Commentary, as well as two novels: The Prison Life of Harris Filmore and Memoir of a Gambler.
Richardson married author Anne Roth in 1957, and they had a daughter Emily Carter. The couple later divorced. Richardson's second wife was Judith Heidler. They also divorced. She went on to become executive director of the Newport Art Association and Museum and later a consultant to Green Collections in Yokohama, Japan, and is listed in Who's Who in American Art. Richardson married one last time to Susan E. Morse, an Academy Award-nominated feature film editor best known for her work with Woody Allen. and, in 2012, for her editing of the popular FX Network show, "Louie," written and directed by and starring Louis C.K., for which Morse was nominated for an Emmy. Richardson's third marriage produced his only son, Dwight, and lasted until Richardson's death in Manhattan in July 2012.