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MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Saturday May 18, 2013
AKA "Cut the Taxes" (political candidate)
Leonard Running Bear (political candidate spoof)
Scooter (boyhood athlete)
Clete (college baseball player)
Moe Silver (character in cartoon strip and stage play "Shrubtown")
Les Morris (bandleader)
Subrahmanyan Berkowitz (stand-up comic)
Jeffrey Clayton Maxwell (stand-up comic)
Flash Golden (play-by-play announcer and jazz radio disc jockey)
Les Golden counting cards at the Kellogg Graduate School of Business (Northwestern University) Casino Night
|Residence||Oak Park, Illinois, and Reno, Nevada|
|Known for||Developer of Golden diagram for blackjack and the Magic Circle Strategy for roulette
Influences -- Nina Grace Smith, L. Knowles Cooke, Frank Drake, W.J. "Jack" Welch, David W. Tucker, Edward O. Thorp, Del Close
|Occupation||Writer, astronomer, professor, musician, stand-up comedian, cartoonist|
literary agent - email@example.com
Les Golden is an internationally-known gambling writer based in Oak Park, Illinois. He has written for gambling.com, iGamingBusiness, gamblingonline, and Bluff Europe print magazines. He became aware of card counting systems and became a card counter at the popular casino game of blackjack while a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, by reading the 1966 revised edition of Beat the Dealer, the seminal work of mathematician Edward O. Thorp, who was aided in his computer simulations by programmers Julian Braun and Harvey Dubner. As a graduate student in astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, Golden made monthly trips to Reno, Nevada and played blackjack using Thorp’s systems. He is the developer of the Golden Diagram technique for countering casino countermeasures at blackjack and the Magic Circle system for winning at biased roulette wheels. He currently resides in Oak Park, Illinois, and Reno, Nevada.
Education and Research
Leslie Morris Golden (Eliezer Moshe ben Reuven Motl y Chanah Kaileh, Lazar Masche) was born in Chicago, an identical twin, the son of Anne K. (née Eisenberg; March 7, 1909 – November 19, 1999), a legal stenographer and homemaker, and Irving R. Golden (March 15, 1907 – June 22, 2005), an attorney and co-owner with his father Max Goldstein, an immigrant finish carpenter from Belarus, Russia, of a store fixture and bar manufacturing firm, and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, where he attended Horace Mann grammar school and Oak Park-River Forest High School.
He holds the B.A. (with Distinction) and Masters of Engineering Physics from Cornell University, where he was both a Cornell McMullen Scholar and a Fellow of the Interfoundation Committee of the American Institute for Economic Research (Great Barrington, Mass.), and received the M.A. and Ph.D in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley, under Professor William J. “Jack” Welch, the Watson and Marilyn Alberts Chair emeritus in Extraterrestrial Intelligence. At Cornell, he was the award-winning feature editor and then editor-in-chief of the Cornell Engineer magazine and a member of the Engineering Student Council. Some of his early research in astronomy appeared in a book by Stephen Hawking. He performed research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as a National Research Council Resident Research Associate and the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California. He is the director of the Near Earth Asteroid Reconnaissance Project (N.E.A.R.), which he founded as a University of Illinois at Chicago professor in 1994. He has been elected to both Phi Beta Kappa (arts and sciences) and Tau Beta Pi (engineering) as well as Pi Delta Epsilon (journalism). He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in Science and Technology and Marquis Who's Who in the World.
In addition to the many citations to his scholarly research in astronomy and the history of science, Golden’s writings and work has been cited in numerous books.
The noted author and biographer Jordan Naoum has published collected writings of Golden in his 2011 book, Les Golden (Duc Publishing, ISBN 978-6-1368-4994-2) which is available worldwide.
Golden is a nationally-referenced animal welfare advocate and environmental activist, a professional trumpet player, jazz vocalist, and band leader, and a professional actor with more than 100 stage, film, radio, television, and commercial credits, including multiple principle Shakespearean roles with Oak Park Festival Theatre, an Equity-contract theatre.
In 1966 Golden provided the stimulus for the formation of the University of California Jazz Ensembles by placing an ad calling for student jazz musicians in the Daily Californian. With the arrival of Dr. David W. Tucker to the Cal campus, the organization became the most prominent musical organization on the Berkeley campus. Golden was a trumpet player, soloist, and vocalist with the elite Wednesday Night big band. For seven years he was the emcee for the program, appearing at dozens of performances annually at concerts and jazz festivals throughout California.
He is a published jazz critic.
He has appeared numerous times as an actor on the live-broadcast productions of "Unshackled!" He was a featured regular on the Eddie Hubbard Show radio program as the character Jeffrey Clayton Maxwell from Bhutan. He was one of the stable of gifted Chicago character actors cast in numerous national and regional television commercials by renowned director Josef Sedelmaier of “Where’s the Beef?” fame. He is a member of both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). He was a charter member of Chicago's Porchlight Theatre Ensemble. He has appeared in featured roles with Broderick Crawford, Tippi Hedren, Troy Donahue, Charlotte Ross, Susan Hart, Robert Petkoff, David Darlow, Bruce Jarchow, Paula Scrofano, and others.
As "Flash Golden," he was the play-by-play announcer for the California Golden Bears basketball radio broadcasts and hosted Flash's Jazz Patio on KALX-FM. As a stand-up comedian, he has performed at San Francisco's Holy City Zoo, the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, the Comedy Cottage in Chicago, as well as on the college circuit, Playboy Club, and other clubs. He appears both as himself, Les Golden, and as Subrahmanyan Berkowitz from Bhutan. He is a published editorial cartoonist.
As an editorial and comic cartoonist, Les Golden has been widely published. He is listed in Comiclopedia. His subjects are taken from his interest in politics and other careers as a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, musician, environmentalist, animal welfare advocate, astronomer, and professor. He may be best known for his strip "Captain Industry" from the 1980's. His content ranges from politically controversial to school-boy silliness, with a clean line-art artistic style. His textbook, Laboratory Exercises in Physics for Modern Astronomy (Springer-Verlag, 2012), includes numerous of his comic illustrations, including those of possible extraterrestrials. He credits Betty Edwards, author of Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain, as his major artistic influence.
In athletics he was a two-sport letterman at Oak Park and River Forest High School and was the manager and third baseman of the "Goldenrods" at Cornell and manager and third baseman of the "Foul Balls" in the fast-pitch summer league at U.C. Berkeley. At JPL, he was the third baseman on the champion JPL fast-pitch team in the Glendale City League.
Astronomy Publications and Presentations
Golden has published several peer-reviewed refereed articles on applications of probability and statistics to astronomy, and has taught probability and statistics as an Adjunct Professor of Management Science in the Heller Graduate School of Business at Roosevelt University in Chicago in addition to being an astronomy professor in the physics department and the Honors College of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
He lectures to adult and student audiences on the possibility of extraterrestrial life and the hypothetical shapes of their bodies. A frequent cruise ship lecturer, he was selected by Royal Cruise Lines to be their shipboard lecturer on the high seas during the 1986 apparition of Halley's Comet, and was the first University of Illinois professor selected to be a professor on the Institute of Shipboard Education's (ISE) Semester at Sea program, teaching courses on astronomy and the possibility of extraterrestrial life in the fall semester of 1996. Among his popular writings on astronomy and public presentations, he presented a series of lectures to the renowned Field Museum of Natural History on the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligent life, has been the featured speaker at the meeting of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association, and was the keynote speaker for Chicago's Adler Planetarium on the occasion of the dedication of their new wing.
Renaissance Man Description
Les Golden is a Renaissance Man, a true polymath.
He has been so described in numerous newspapers and magazine. "Let's say there was a local character who has a B.S. and M.S. in engineering physics from Cornell University; earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California in Berkeley; is a professional actor; a former stand-up comedian in San Francisco and L.A. and an improv performer with Chicago's Second City, is a freelance jazz and theater critic and playwright; is president of his own software development company; gives lectures on UFOs and the possibility of extraterrestrial life; was listed in the Marquis "Who's Who in Science and Engineering;" and every July 4 either he or his twin brother lead the band that precedes the fireworks at the local high school. You'd accuse us of making him up, right? Wait, it gets better. Let's say all of that is not enough. Let's say this guy wants to make his mark in politics . . . only he insists on filing under a nickname which usually gets him tossed off the ballot . . . " 
"Where to start in introducing the complete one-off individual that is Les Golden? Actor, stand-up comedian, humorist UFO lecturer, singer, astronomer, cartoonist, playwright, trumpet player, voiceover artist, political activist . . . we could go on. You can probably tell that Les is a bit of a character. Luckily for readers, he's also a great blackjack player,"
"It would be an unusual man who really went by the name 'Cut the Taxes,' but Golden, of Oak Park, is an unusual man. He is an actor and educational software developer with a Ph.D. in astronomy; he is a trumpet player, writer and physics professor who devotes much of his free time to taxpayers rights issues."
“His interests form a list so long as to stagger the imagination. He is a stand-up comic who has performed all over the United States and Mexico, a professional actor in more than 100 plays, films and commercials; and he is the author of Basic Composer, PC-compatible software that is used to compose, play back, and print music and lyrics. (As an astronomer), in 1986 he went on a Halley’s Comet cruise, following the comet from Acapulco to Greece and transmitting reports to the Syndicated Writers’ Group.”
Unlike many in society who were influenced and aided by family members in achieving success in given fields, Golden is entirely a self-made man. No one in either his maternal or paternal extended families have matriculated at an Ivy League college, earned a Ph.D, nor have had professional careers as an actor, stand-up comedian, playwright, political cartoonist, magazine editor, non-fiction writer, software developer, scientist, or professor. His identical twin brother and he are the only professional musicians in the extended families.
Introduction to Card Counting
In the months before the premier Wednesday Night Band of the University of California Jazz Ensembles, under the direction of Dr. David W. Tucker, went in 1972 to Reno, Nevada, to compete in its first Reno Jazz Festival, Golden, a trumpet player and vocalist with the band and its announcer, purchased Beat the Dealer at the legendary Moe’s Bookstore in Berkeley, California, and studied Thorp’s complete point count system. In the next five years at Berkeley, Golden made monthly trips to Reno, with additional trips to Lake Tahoe and Virginia City, Nevada. In 1977 he moved to Los Angeles to perform research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a National Research Council Resident Research Associate post-doctoral fellow in astronomy, and his gambling excursions were to Las Vegas, Nevada. He continued to perform stand-up comedy at various venues including The Comedy Store and The Improv.
He has written for Gambling.com, Gambling Online, iGaming Business, and Bluff Europe magazines, and as a newspaper columnist as a casino advocate. His writing reflects his Renaissance man multiple knowledge bases. With a technical background, many of his articles deal with probability issues in casino games, focusing on roulette, craps, and blackjack, and discussing such topics as the central limit theorem, the normal curve, and Gambler's ruin, and often employing Monte Carlo simulations and references to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, an area to which he had been introduced at Cornell University by his mentor Frank Drake and which is one of his research and public lecture areas as an astronomer.
With his stand-up comedian background, his style has been described by one of his editors, “You can probably tell that Les is a bit of a character. Luckily for readers, he’s also a great blackjack player,” and by Dave Bland, the editor of Flush Magazine, "Les Golden is a comedy genius. I could write more but it really is as simple as that.” A professional actor with a Kevin Bacon number of 3 who has studied with Ann Woodworth of Northwestern University and Del Close of Chicago’s The Second City improvisational nightclub, Golden periodically writes about applying acting techniques to camouflage both being a card counter and also being a member of roulette and blackjack teams.
Golden has won multiple awards for his writing, including the prestigious Eric Hoffer and Lili Fabilli Laconic Essay Prize,, the Griffith Observatory Science Writing Competition,, the International Compuserve Magazine Essay Contest, and the First Prize in the Nicolaus Copernicus International Essay Competition (American Council of Polish Cultural Clubs). Gambling.com's website refers to Golden as “gambling.com magazine’s resident blackjack genius.” His research into the gambling game of 21 has been published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.
After the publication of Beat the Dealer, gambling casinos reacted to the advantage that a card counter gains over the house by adopting counter strategies. These included employing multiple decks rather than the single hand-held deck. Two-deck games and games employing four and six decks dealt from a so-called shoe became commonplace.
Players soon realized intuitively that both these changes in the game reduced their probabilities of winning. In games with a multiple deck, compared to single-deck or double-deck games, players experience frequency, magnitude, and depth (the fraction of the deck which has been dealt in playing previous hands) effects: 1) The deck becomes favorable less frequently at all depths, 2) when the deck does becomes favorable, the magnitude of the advantage is not as great, 3) all decks are favorable infrequently until a significant portion of the deck has been dealt and this occurs at greater depths into the deck in games using multiple decks.
Golden, based on a Monte Carlo simulation and theoretical arguments, calculated the magnitude of these effects. The results of his analysis are displayed as Golden diagrams. He also suggested a stepwise betting strategy to reduce the effects.
Magic Circle strategy
The game of roulette, being a game of Simple random sample|statistics without replacement, is not amenable to systems such as card counting, which rely on the non-randomness of the particular game. If, however, the roulette wheel is not perfectly level, laboratory studies, most notably at the British National Weights and Measures Laboratory, and theoretical studies have shown that a skillful croupier can by virtue of muscle memory release the roulette ball with a speed and at a location on the table to bias the bin in which it comes to rest.
The Magic Circle strategy takes advantage of this potential bias and the non-random location of the various bets on the roulette wheel. Golden showed that, after influencing the croupier to direct the ball into certain sectors of the roulette wheel, a team of players can lay bets in strategic locations on the wheel to secure profitable play.
Golden began his political career with the non-partisan CARE Party. (Citizens Active for Respect for the Environment/Citizens Active for a Responsible Electorate) in Oak Park, Illinois. He later formed the TURF Party (Taxpayers United of River Forest) in the adjacent community. He was the president of UTOP (United Taxpayers of Oak Park) from 1991 through 2005. As CARE party president he has been responsible for slating more than 70 candidates for local political office, achieving the election of eight on tax-accountability and environmental issues. He has sponsored and moderated numerous taxpayer information forums. His advocacy of tax-relief has led him to seek local elected office as “Cut the Taxes.”
A major influence on animal welfare and environmental protection efforts locally and in the State of Illinois, Golden has been a leader in water and materials conservation, recycling, tree protection, wildlife protection, pesticide bans, efforts to retard global warming, and numerous other initiatives, as well as childhood education in these efforts. He has achieved numerous reforms in this regard as president of the CARE Party.
His interest in tax relief has led to a leadership role in large-scale commercial development as principal of Holley Court Partners.
His notoriety as a sponsor of political candidates led to his namesake, "Moe Silver," Chairman of the "LOVE Party," being a lead character in the locally-drawn "Shrubtown" comic strip and theatrical play by the same name by artist and writer Marc Stopeck.
Statewide and National
His political candidacies for U.S. Congress and State Representative using the nickname "Cut the Taxes" have led to court actions, a re-writing of Illinois election law concerning allowable names on the ballot  propagated throughout the state of Illinois in election guides for candidates, lengthy discussions in the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) handbook on election law which is on display in courthouses in the state of Illinois, scholarly studies on election law and ballot access,  and rewriting of election law in other states.  In addition, in another part of the revised election law, the Golden Rule, for the first time in Illinois history, allows any election official whatsoever, state as well as local, to extend their previous ministerial powers beyond mere printing of the ballot to actually removing slogans from ballot names. These cases in election law and the revised Illinois election law statutes have been cited repeatedly in jurisdictions throughout the country.
In 2008, he was the statewide spokesman and one of three state-wide coordinators for the group seeking to convene an Illinois Constitutional Convention. He wrote the field guide for campaign workers which was used in other states also seeking to convene constitutional conventions. He has consistently fought legislation removing property tax caps in Illinois. He was selected to be a charter member of the board of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (ITEF) in 1994.
He is President of Citizens Active for Respect for the Environment/Citizens Active for a Responsible Electorate (CARE) in Oak Park, Suburban Coordinator of the Alliance of (Cook) County Taxpayers (ACT), and heads the National Taxpayers United of Oak Park.
Golden received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Taxpayers United of Illinois umbrella group in 1991 for his taxpayer advocacy efforts.
In 2013, the authoritative peer-reviewed journal The Mathematical Scientist published Prof. Golden’s analysis of the role of intergovernmental cooperation in optimizing the use of limited resources such as tax revenues in governing.
"The only famous counters are the ex-counters."
- Basic Composer: An Analysis of Music Notation Software, Music Education Incentives Publishers (1988)
- Astronomy 101, UIC Press (1994)
- A Field Guide for Political Activists: How to Generate Support and Turn Out Your Voters, Lee Brooke (2008)
- Laboratory Experiments in Physics for Modern Astronomy: With Comprehensive Development of the Physical Principles, Springer Science+Business (2012)
- Deuces Wild, The Deuces
Selected Theatrical, Film, Radio, Television, and Commercial Credits
|Kronenbourgh Beer||Josef Sedelmaier||Murray||Bruce Jarchow|
|Tony’s Pizza||Josef Sedelmaier||Vito|
|Chicago Tribune||Jim Wotring||Jo-jo||Marji Bank, Ernest Perry|
|K-Mart||Jim Wotring||Lester||Tim Gamble|
|Eagle Foods||Gerald Hagner||Les||Ken Anderson (athlete)|
|Motorola Cellular||Ed Italo||Miller||Lee Trevino (athlete)|
|Buick||Jim Parish||Cal||Don Majowski (athlete)|
|True Value Hardware||Jim Lynch||Professor Astroray||(one-person show)|
|Cognex||Stewart Talent||Timothy McCoy||Paula Scrofano|
|Illinois State Lottery||Jeff Jones||Big Brother|
|Heinz Ketchup||Bob Shallcross||Les Golden (stand-up comedian as himself)|
|Bubble Up||Stan Cottle||Murray||Charlotte Ross|
|The Len Petrulis Show||Len Petrulis||Phillipe Maurice, Parisian fashion designer||Kajon Mueller|
|Freeman Shoes||Loren Ostir||Wally Tucker|
|Thrift Drugs||Clay Covert||Mr. Eisen||(one-person show)|
|Madison Gas and Electric||Bob Wendt||Bob||(one-person show)|
|Ohio Edison||Ken Ancell||Mr. Heater||(one-person show)|
|American Family Insurance||John Alexson||Mark||Rick Plastina|
|Outtakes||Jack Sell||Harvey Knox||Broderick Crawford|
|The Nightmare Trial of Billy Barnes||Gerald Rogers||Edward Keppel|
|The Roommate||Nell Cox||Mr. Chipbeef||Barry Miller, Lance Guest|
|Welcome Home, Bobby||Herbert Wise||Coach Lazare||Adam Baldwin|
|How I Became A Holy Mother||Arnold Aprill||Master||Patti Shaughnessy|
|Taming of the Shrew||Dale Calandra||Gremio||Ned Mochel, Susan Hart, and others|
|YMCA||Jerold Haislmaier||Michael Marks|
|Ten Little Indians||Faith Dukor-Chaplick||Dr. Armstrong||June Atkinson, Russ Cady|
|Stage Struck||James Carter||Herman||Jim Mullen|
|The Odd Couple||Faith Baime||Vinnie|
|What the Wine Sellers Buy||Wanda Getsug||George||Lucy Evans|
|The Little Sister||Ray Andrecheck||Toad||B.F. Helman|
|Taming of the Shrew||David Darlow||Vincentio||Robert Petkoff, David Darlow, Kristine Thatcher, Greg Vinkler, Michael Halberstam, and others|
|The Inspector General||Knowles Cooke||Bobchinsky||Stephen Straight, Barbara Tucker|
|Eddie Hubbard Show Live from Arnie’s||Eddie Hubbard||Jeffrey Clayton Maxwell||Robert Goulet, and others|
|Unshackled!||Jack O’Dell||Richard Goldstein (and others)||Judith Easton, David Mink, and others|
|Deadly Spygames||Jack Sell||General Vladimir Korchenko||Tippi Hedren, Troy Donahue|
|Lady Blue||Gary Nelson||Davey Carlton||Danny Aiello, Jamie Rose, Ron Dean|
|Eric Hoffer and Lili Fabilli Laconic Essay Prize||Eric Hoffer||First Place Winner|
|Cornell Engineer Feature Article Competition||Cornell University College of Engineering||First Place Winner|
|Engineering College Magazines Association Awards||Engineering College Magazines Association||Best Editorial, Second Place Winner|
|Engineering College Magazines Association Awards||Engineering College Magazines Association||Best Editorial, All Issues, Second Place Winner|
|Griffith Observatory Science Writing Competition||Griffith Observatory||Honorable Mention Winner|
|International Compuserve Magazine Essay Competition||Compuserve Magazine||First Place Winner|
|Nicolaus Copernicus International Essay Competition||American Council of Polish Cultural Clubs||First Place Winner, Senior Division|
|Tau Beta Pi Essay Competition||Tau Beta Pi Association||Honorable Mention Winner|
Probability and Statistics in Astronomy
1. Golden, Leslie M. (1971). “Evolution of Quasar Optical and Radio Luminosity,” Nature, 234, 103.
2. Golden, Leslie M. (1974). “Isotropy of Radio Source Populations from Comparison of Number - Flux Density Curves,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 166, 383.
3. Golden, Leslie M. (1974). “Observational Selection in the Identification of Quasars and Claims for Anisotropy,” Observatory, 94, 122.
4. Golden, Leslie M. (1979). “The Effect of Surface Roughness on the Transmission of Microwave Radiation Through a Planetary Surface,” Icarus, 38, 451.
Technical Articles on Gambling
1. Golden, Les; Thompson-Hill, Jeremy; and Theobold, Rick (2008). “Has Online Gaming Reached Saturation Point?,” iGaming Business, March/April, p. 16-17.
2 Golden, Les; Turner, Noah; and von Bar, Jens (2009). “The Death of the RNG,” iGaming Business, July/August, p. 56-59.
3. Golden, Leslie M. (2011). “An Analysis of the Disadvantage to Players of Multiple Decks in the Game of 21.” The Mathematical Scientist, 32, 2, p. 57-69.
-  Home Page
-  An Interview With Les Golden
-  N.E.A.R.
-  U.C. Jazz
-  KALX Radio 90.7 FM
-  Illinois Authors Listing
-  World Catalog Listing
-  Collected Writings
-  Library Thing Listing
-  Authors Den Listing