20 Questions

20 Questions: Carolyn Goodman

Carolyn Goodman was raised in New York, but she’s a quintessential
Las Vegan. After her colorful and wildly popular husband Oscar Goodman ended his 12-year mayoralty, she won an election to succeed him with 60 percent of the vote. Goodman, who led Vegas through the aftershocks of the recession, easily won reelection in 2015.

BY WORTH | 20 Questions | Oct 13, 2017
  • 01. What are you reading? A Prince Charles biography; a new book, Misled: Hidden Colors of America by Dr. Roy Whitmore; and I’m rereading Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
  • 02. How many days a year do you travel? Maybe three weeks. Las Vegas has everything one needs except the ocean, and that’s a short drive away.
  • 03. Do you fly private or commercial? Commercial.
  • 04. What’s your favorite outfit? Classic office wear—jackets, pencil skirts, pants.
  • 05. Favorite piece of jewelry? I’ve worn the same things for 40 years: two gold bands that are my wedding ring; an Ebel watch that my husband bought me 30 years ago; a cigar ring that my parents bought me when I was 18.
  • 06. Favorite movies? Gone with the Wind, 12 Angry Men, Yankee Doodle Dandy and just to lighten my day, The Birdcage.
  • 07. Beer, wine or spirits? Grey Goose—on the rocks or in a cosmopolitan. I love an occasional mai tai, but they’re too fattening.
  • 08. What do you drive? A Mercedes S500 with a personal license plate. And the frame says, “Welcome Las Vegas Raiders.”
  • 09. Favorite sports team? We’re thrilled about the Raiders moving here and [the NHL expansion team] the Vegas Golden Knights. One day we’ll have an NBA franchise. I’ve been trying to get Major League Soccer here, too.
  • 10. Favorite museum? The Mob Museum and Neon Museum because of the ties they have to our city.
  • 11. Best part of your job? Getting up every morning knowing I have a whole other day in the greatest city; there’s action all the time. Sleeping is boring.
  • 12. Why did you to run for mayor? My husband was termed out. And my children, then grown, said, “Mom, you’re the only one who will continue the plans and the vision that Dad had during his 12 years.”
  • 13. Best personality traits in yourself? Tenaciousness. And I have really good ideas for moving things. I have four children who are within a span of 38 months, and you don’t get anything done unless you know how to mediate.
  • 14. Biggest challenge? Working through this recession.
  • 15. Your approach to finances? I project expenses very high and income low.
  • 16. The worst mistake you’ve made in business? Hiring the wrong person for a job. I miscalculated.
  • 17. Favorite philanthropy? My husband and I contribute to many: Catholic Charities in Nevada to serve meals to homebound seniors; My Brother’s Keeper to try to fix the school-to-prison pipeline for African American boys. The list goes on.
  • 18. Best advice you’ve ever received? Always tell the truth.
  • 19. What’s your worst habit? I am a wild and crazy driver. I learned to drive in New York against cabbies, and I can hold my own.
  • 20. How would you like to be remembered? If my family and friends remember me as a good, loving person, that’s enough for me.
This article originally appeared in the August-October 2017 issue of Worth.


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