Golden worked as a reporter for the Charlotte Observer in the 1940’s. He began to publish a bi-monthly newspaper called the Carolina Israelite in 1944. The newspaper focused on political issues, Jewish, and minority concerns. Golden’s response to the 1954 Supreme Court's school desegregation decision was picked up by the national media. His 1956 editorial, “Vertical Negro Plan,” - a humorous proposal of how Southerners could peacefully integrate - was published in papers across the nation. Golden ended publication of the Carolina Israelite in 1968.
Golden’s widest audience came with the publication in 1958 of Only in America, a collection of essays from the Carolina Israelite. The book was a bestseller and Golden followed it with numerous other publications, including a biography of his friend, Carl Sandburg. Golden’s audience expanded further with guest appearances on the “Tonight Show” with Jack Parr and “Person to Person” with Edward R. Murrow.
The Harry Golden Papers at J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections comprises personal and professional materials related to Golden’s role as an editor, a publisher, and a civil rights activist.