Norman Daniels

He was born in Connecticut in 1905.  His birth name was Norman Danberg and later changed his name to Daniels. This name has been associated with Kenneth Robeson at times.  Norman Daniels’ name first appeared in Fred Cook’s Bronze Shadows in 1966 where it was thought that Lawrence Donovan was the pen name for Norman Daniels.

The 1940 US Census lists Daniel’s (Danberg’s) place of residence as the Empire Hotel, New York City.  His occupation is listed as author in the publishing industry. His education show four years of college.

 In 1985, Daniels donated his papers to Bowling Green State University in Ohio where they are part of The Norman Daniels Collection.  What is most intriguing about this collection are the books that were also donated which included a few Doc Savage stories: The Black Spot, Cold Death, Haunted Ocean, He Could Stop the World, and Mad Eyes.  The problem is that these books are all attributed to Laurence Donovan. The Doc Savage books are the mystery here.  The other novels included with the donation were clearly Daniels’ own works. Why would Daniels include these five Doc Savage books with his papers?

Daniels appears to have given conflicting accounts of his work on Doc Savage.  Daniels was quoted in Ron Goulart’s Cheap Thrills (1972) as having worked on Doc Savage.  In Writings in Bronze, Will Murray speculates on Daniel’s involvement in several different articles.  In the first article The Secret Kenneth Robesons (1977), he examines Devil on the Moon citing the plot similarities between that story and a paperback story based on The Avengers television series titled Moon Express written in 1969 by Daniels.  In The Moon Mystery (1984), Murray revisits the Daniels situation.  Murray cites an interview he had several years earlier with Norman Daniels in which Daniels denied ghosting any Doc Savage stories or of knowing Norma Dent.  Murray comes back again in 1993 with Who was (or were) Kenneth Robeson? with another look at Norman Daniels.  Murray states he recently interview Norman Daniels about his Doc Savage work.  Daniels professed to have no recollection of ever writing a Doc Savage story and only casually met Dent.