Corwin, Norman, 1910-2011

Alternative names
Birth 1910-05-03
Death 2011-10-18

Biographical notes:

Writer, director, producer.

From the description of Reminiscences of Norman Corwin : oral history, 1967. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122440908

From the description of Reminiscences of Norman Corwin : oral history, 1966. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122513150


From the description of Norman Lewis Corwin papers, 1941-1942. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145381238

Norman Corwin (1910-2011) was an American writer, screenwriter, producer, essayist and teacher of journalism and writing. His early radio programs included love stories, satire, biography, fantasy, mystery, Bible stories, travelogues, history, media analyses, philosophy, and current events. He has been called America's "poet laureate of radio." On May 8, 1945, his one-hour live broadcast on the occasion of the end of World War II, On A Note of Triumph, drew 60 million listeners; poet Carl Sandburg praised it as "one of the all-time great American poems."

Corwin is also the author of several books, including Holes In A Stained Glass Window (1978) and Trivializing America (1983), and his script for the movie Lust For Life (1957) was nominated for an Oscar. His television credits include his 1971 series "Norman Corwin Presents." In the 1990s he began a new series of radio program for National Public Radio, whose casts have included William Shatner, Jack Lemmon, Charles Kuralt, Martin Landau, Hume Cronyn, and Charles Durning.

As of 2008 Corwin was still very active in his field, writing a monthly column on media, chairing two award committees for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and serving as a Writer in Residence at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication.

Corwin was recognized many times over his career for his achievements; his awards include a Peabody (1941, the first year they were awarded), the One World Award (1946), a duPont-Columbia Award, and an Honorary Doctorate from Lincoln College (1990). He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 2006 a documentary film on his life ( A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin ) won an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Feature).

"I have no apology to make for the affirmative tone of these scripts. I am convinced we will get where we want to go. It will be be grim en route, but I think there is nothing to be said for cynicism and despair, and everything to be said for getting out and working toward a better world." -- from the foreword to Untitled and Other Radio Dramas

[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from Norman Corwin's official website and his USC Annenberg Faculty Page.]

From the guide to the Norman Corwin Papers, 1931-1967, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)


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  • World War, 1939-1945--Peace
  • Radio broadcasting--Political aspects
  • Motion picture plays
  • Television scripts
  • Radio authorship
  • Painters--Drama
  • Radio programs
  • Radio scripts
  • Radio, television, film
  • Authors, American
  • Screenwriters--United States
  • Radio supplies industry
  • Dramatists, American
  • Radio producers and directors--United States
  • Radio plays, American
  • Radio--Censorship
  • Radio producers and directors--Interviews
  • World War, 1939-1945--Drama
  • Popular culture


  • Authors
  • Radio producers and directors
  • Screenwriters
  • Dramatists


  • Netherlands (as recorded)