Carlton Goodlett

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Carlton Goodlett

Dr Carlton Benjamin Goodlett (1914-1997) of California. Goodlett died of Parkinson’s disease in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on January 25, 1997.

He is survived by his son, Dr. Garry M. Goodlett, of Cedar Rapids.

Early life

Carlton Goodlett was born in Chipley, Florida on July 23, 1914[1].


Goodlett finished his bachelor’s degree in 1935 at Howard University where he was president of the student body and editor of the student newspaper. He earned a Ph.D. in child psychology at the University of California at Berkeley in 1938. Goodlett taught for a year a West Virginia State College before pursuing his M.D. degree at Meharry Medical College, obtained in 1944[2].

Young radical Democrats

When Phillip Burton returned to San Francisco in 1947 he worked for Time Oil in Richmond. There he met a young Democratic activist and former Communist Party USA member named Bert Coffey, a close associate of George Miller, Jr. a young California Assemblyman. This group of young Democratic insurgents joined up with Joe Holsinger, Yori Wada, Jack Berman, a liberal lawyer and the first husband of Dianne Goldman (Dianne Feinstein), and Dr. Carlton Goodlett, a black physician, publisher and longtime Communist Party USA activist. Burton and Goodlett worked closely together in the NAACP and the Young Democrats.[3]


Goodlett commenced his 38-year career as a family physician in San Francisco in 1945 but in 1948 he became the joint publisher of the Reporter Publishing Company which eventually controlled several black weekly newspapers. As both publisher and editor of the flagship Sun-Reporter Goodlett had a vehicle to press for the social and economic betterment of African Americans in the Bay Area. A crusading newspaper under his direction, the Sun-Reporter’s motto was, “That no good cause shall lack a champion, evil shall not thrive unopposed.”

By 1951 Goodlett was sole owner of the Reporter Publishing Company and held the presidency/chairmanship of the San Francisco NAACP, the National Black United Fund, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, California Black Leadership Conference, and the William L. Patterson Foundation. He also served on the numerous boards including that of Morehouse Medical College and the Soviet front World Peace Council[4].

California Labor School

In the late 1940s Goodlett, through Dave Jenkins, was involved with the Communist Party USA/International Longshoremens and Warehousemens Union controlled California Labor School[5];

In Goodlett's first year and a half in the city, he was asked by Dave Jenkins, the head of the California Labor School, to join the faculty. He accepted. The school was established by the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. The longshoremen were regarded by many conservatives as being communists, or at least a communist front organization. So red-baiters of all hues in San Francisco started whispering that Goodlett was also a red, or if not, at least a fellow traveler.

Helsinki-Youth Festival

July 29-August 6, 1962 the World Youth Festival was held in Helsinki, under the auspices of the Soviet front World Federation of Democratic Youth.

Willard Uphaus, supporter of Communist fronts and Carlton Goodlett and Victor Rabinowitz, identified members of the Communist Party USA raised funds for the festival in a letter in the April 2, 1962 issue of the National Guardian.

Communist-aligned attendees were Charles Berrard, Michael Myerson, Harold Supriano and Michele Hall, daughter of communist Hawaiian labor leader Jack Hall, and future wife of Assemblyman, State Senator, Congressman and California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton (D-CA).

Professor Howard Zinn, an identified member of Communist Party USA active in ocmmunist fronts, American Peace Mobilization and New York CP dominated American Veterans Committee, helped recruit attendees to Helsinki confab.[6]

National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee

As of May 1964, Carlton B. Goodlett, physics, education, Public Sun Reporter, was listed as a sponsor of the Communist Party USA front, National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner

On April 28, 1966 Carlton Goodlett was a sponsor of the Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner. The dinner was held on the occasion of Herbert Aptheker's 50th birthday, the publication of his 20th book, and the 2nd anniversary of the American Institute for Marxist Studies. It was held in the Sutton Ballroom, The New York Hilton, Avenue of the Americas, 53rd to 54th Street, New York City. Most speakers, organizers and sponsors were known members or supporters of the Communist Party USA.[7]

GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee

Circa 1969, Carlton B. Goodlett, M.D., Chairman, California Negro Leadership Conference , was listed as a sponsor of the Socialist Workers Party led GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee .[8]

American-Korean Friendship and Information Center

On Feb. 27, 1971, Carlton B. Goodlett, M.D., Member, World Peace Council, San Fransisco, California, was listed as an initiating sponsor of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center. The Center, a front for the Communist Party USA, was established to promote the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea and Vietnam.[9]

Peace and socialism

Goodlett supported Marxists W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson in visits to San Francisco.

"Carlton convinced Rev. Haynes to let DuBois and Robeson speak at Third Baptist. No one else would welcome them."

Goodlett was a member of the World Peace Council and traveled many times to the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. Goodlett visited Vietnam in 1975[10].

In 1962, Goodlett participated in a disarmament conference in Moscow. During the 1960s and 1970s, his opposition to nuclear weapons and his participation in the World Peace Council led him to make several trips abroad to cities such as Stockholm, East Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Copenhagen[11].

In 1970 Goodlett attended a World Peace Conference in Stockholm where he was awarded the Lenin Peace Medal[12].

World Peace Council

In the late 1970s, the Information Centre of the Soviet front World Peace Council, Helsinki Finland, published a booklet naming members of the organization, worldwide.[13]

We publish in this booklet a list of members of the World Peace Council elected at the Council's Session in Warsaw in 1977.

U.S. members listed, included; Dr. Carlton Goodlett, Publisher; Physician; President, National Newspaper Publishers Association (Black Press).

Stanford Vietnam Day

Stanford Vietnam Day May 17 1965.

Moderators and speakers:


Prof. Sidney Verba, Stanford, Prof. Gordon Craig, Prof. Milorad Drachkovitch; Prof. Leopold Haimson; Mr. Claude Buss, Stanford; John Horner; Prof. Hans Morgenthau; Robert Textor; Stanley Sheinbaum, Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions; Kenneth Prewitt, Stanford; Rear Admiral Ret. USN Arnold True; Participants: James Aronson, journalist; Dennis Doolin, Stanford; Marshall Windmiller, S.F. State; Robert Bellah, Harvard; Carlton Goodlett, editor; Albert Grosser, Paris; John Mecklin, correspondent; Kenneth Mills, Stanford; Leopold Hamson; Robert Scheer, journalist Ramparts; Anatole Mazour Stanford: Sally Smaller; Robert Tucker, Princeton; Frans Schurmann, U. of C., Berkeley; Robert Mong; Lincoln Moses; Erik Erikson, Harvard; General Lewis J. West; George Solomon, Stanford; Albert Guerard; John Horner, Director, Public Affairs Bureau, State Department.[14]

Palestine Human Rights Campaign

A brochure came out in early 1978 announcing "A National Organizing Conference" sponsored by the Palestine Human Rights Campaign to be held on May 20-21, 1978, at American University, with the theme of "Palestinian Human Rights and Peace".

The list of "Sponsors" was a mix of a several groupings including the Communist Party USA and its sympathizers, the World Peace Council, the Hanoi Lobby, black extremists, mainly marxists, radical Christians, and Arab/Arab-American organizations, plus a few phone-booth sized pro-Palestinian Christian groups.

Individual sponsors of the event included Carlton Goodlett.

Inspiring black youth

Dr. Goodlett convinced many African American youth to enter the medical field, including doctors Ahimsa Sumchai and Ramona Tascoe Burris, who spoke at the Goodlett's memorial service. Dr. Sumchai said, "I didn't want to be like Dr. Goodlett, I wanted to be him." Dr. Burris said, "Carlton took me aside and said I really needed to become a doctor. I was about to enter law school." She is now a practicing intern in Oakland[15].

Inspiring politicians

According to radical former San Francisco district attorney Terence Hallinan, an endorsement from Carlton Goodlett was important to the election of many political leaders. Goodlett helped to inspire and promote the political careers of Mayor Willie Brown, the late Representative Philip Burton, SenatorJohn Burton, and Representative Ron Dellums[16].

California Rep Barbara Lee was also helped by Carlton Goodlett.

Democratic Party

Dr. Goodlett became a powerful voice in the Democratic Party, serving as a model for young black leaders. In 1966, he became the first black American since Reconstruction to mount a serious candidacy for the governorship of California[17].


In 1947 Goodlett spearheaded the fight against San Francisco's public transit for failing to hire Black workers. Today the workforce at MUNI is over 40 percent African American.

Dr. Goodlett was arrested at San Francisco State University in 1968 during protests by students demanding a Black Studies department[18].

We Will Make Peace Prevail!

On March 28, 1982 the New World Review organized a gala luncheon "We Will Make Peace Prevail! Disarmament Over Confrontation, Life Over Death", at the Grand Ballroom, Hotel Roosevelt, New York City. Virtually all participants were identified as Communist Party USA.

Carlton Goodlett was listed on the Committee of Sponsors.[19]

Black Press Institute

In 1987 Carlton Goodlett was on the Board of Directors of the Black Press Institute[20].

Anti Iraq war

During the first War in Iraq, Goodlett helped host a benefit for the National Coalition to End the U.S. War in the Middle East[21].

Expel South Africa From the UN

The Campaign for One Million Voices to Expel South Africa From the UN was a Communist Party USA front created in about 1974.[22] The front was launched to speak on South Africa and its membership in the United Nations. They issued an undated brochure entitled "We Who Support Human Rights... DEMAND the expulsion of South Africa from the UN!" The brochure was printed by the CPUSA print shop "Prompt Press", printing bug number 209.

Sponsors included Carlton Goodlett.



  3. [A Rage for Justice: The Passion and Politics of Phillip Burton By John Jacobs, p 22/23]
  6. Comrades—1963 Vietnam and Peace Movement Summary—the Lead
  7. Dinner Program for the Herbert Aptheke Dinner, April 28, 1966
  8. Undated, GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee letterhead circa 1969
  9. Full-page advert in unknown newspaper, Feb. 27, 1971
  13. WORLD PEACE COUNCIL LIST OF MEMBERS 1977-1980, Information Centre of the World Peace Council Lönnrotinkatu 25 A 5 krs 00180 Helsinki 18 Finland
  14. [1]
  19. We Will Make Peace Prevail! event brochure
  20. Black Press Institute Letterhead October 5 1987
  22. In the brochure they made a reference to the 29th Session of the UN, which, based on its founding in 1945, would make the year 1974.