The Goodman brothers are shown on the cover of Doug Moe’s book, “Good Men.”

Bob and Irwin Goodman were famously private, but their philanthropic works around the city of Madison are still felt to this day. The Goodmans, owners of Goodman Jewelers on State Street, not only provided generations of Madisonians with quality jewelry, their good will left an indelible mark on the city. In a new book, “Good Men: The Lives and Philanthropy of Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman,” author Doug Moe artfully details the Goodman brothers’ deep commitment to the city, as well as their humble and private existence.

Moe shares the journey Bob and Irwin made, from their birth in St. Paul and traveling to Madison in the 1930s, to setting up a business that they would oversee for nearly 70 years. The Goodmans’ more personal side is revealed as well: their love for healthy living, sports, their business, their mother, each other, and their extraordinary devotion to philanthropy.

“It was a privilege to write a book about Bob and Irwin,” Moe said. “I think readers will find their story inspirational.”

The Goodmans’ gifts helped build a Jewish community center campus in Verona, an east side community center, as well as the first community swimming pool in Madison. “Good Men” showcases their desire to make Madison the best city it could possibly be. The book also includes a warm foreword by University of Wisconsin–Madison men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan.

In conjunction with the UW–Madison Parallel Press, Moe will celebrate the release of “Good Men” with several special events around Madison.

Doug Moe
Doug Moe

December 10: The Downtown Rotary, of which the Goodmans were members, will host a private release celebration.
December 14: Book signing at the State Street Goodman’s store, 220 State St., 2 to 4 p.m.
December 20: Book signing at Mystery To Me bookstore, 1863 Monroe St., 7 p.m.
December 15: Moe will appear on Channel 3 for “Live at Five”


Moe has been a journalist in Madison for nearly 40 years. For 18 years, he’s written daily columns about the city, most recently for the Wisconsin State Journal. Moe’s books also include: The World of Mike Royko, a Chicago Tribune Choice Selection of the Year; and Lords of the Ring: The Triumph and Tragedy of College Boxing’s Greatest Team, runner-up for the August Derleth Award for the best non-fiction book of the year by a Wisconsin author.

“Good Men: The Lives and Philanthropy of Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman” can be purchased for $25, and pre-ordered through the Parallel Press website. Books will be available at the University Book Store on campus and Mystery to Me Bookstore at 1863 Monroe St. Books will also be sold during the Rotary celebration.

For more information, visit the Parallel Press website, or contact Natasha Veeser, Head of Communications at the UW–Madison Libraries at 608-262-2632.