Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977

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John Howard Lawson (1894-1977) was a writer, and head of the Hollywood division of the American Communist Party. Lawson was born in New York City, New York in 1894. After studying at Williams College, he became a successful playwright. In 1928, Lawson moved to Hollywood where he wrote scripts for films such as The Ship for Shanghai, Bachelor Apartment, and Goodbye Love. In 1933, Lawson joined with Lester Cole and Samuel Ornitz to establish the Screen Writers Guild and was the organization's first president. Lawson, who joined the American Communist Party in 1934, made several films that were political, including Blockade (1938), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Story. After World War II, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began an investigation into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry. Lawson appeared before the HUAC on October 29, 1947 but he refused to answer any questions and along with the rest of the Hollywood Ten, he was found guilty of contempt of Congress. Lawson was sentenced to twelve months in Ashland Prison and fined $1,000. Blacklisted by the Hollywood studios, Lawson moved to Mexico where he began writing Marxist interpretations of drama and film-making such as The Hidden Heritage (1950), Film in the Battle of Ideas (1953) and Film: The Creative Process (1964). He also wrote one of the first anti-apartheid movies, Cry, The Beloved Country (1951) under a pseudonym John Howard Lawson died in San Francisco on 14th August, 1977.

From the description of John Howard Lawson papers, 1905-1969. (Southern Illinois University). WorldCat record id: 276932267

First president of the Screen Writers Guild, 1933-1934; head of the Hollywood division of the American Communist Party and the cell's Cultural Commissar; one of the Hollywood Ten blacklisted in the 1950s.

From the description of The technique of playwriting [manuscript]/ by John Howard Lawson, 1934-1936. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 235371679

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Finkelstein, Sidney Walter, 1909-1974. Sidney Finkelstein papers, 1914-1974. University of Massachusetts Amherst, W.E.B. Du Bois Library
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. John Howard Lawson papers, 1905-1969. Southern Illinois University, Morris Library
referencedIn Van Sickle, Leftist Pamphlet Collection, 1900-1993 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries,
referencedIn Annette T. Rubinstein Papers, Bulk, 1946-1975, 1937-2007 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. The technique of playwriting [manuscript]/ by John Howard Lawson, 1934-1936. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Robinson, Donald. Studio one-- Success story / by Donald Robinson. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Trumbo, Dalton, 1905-1976. Papers, 1905-1962. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Ornitz, Samuel, 1890-1957. Papers, 1919-1957. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Bessie, Alvah Cecil, 1904-1985. Papers, 1929-1991. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Rubinstein, Annette T. (Annette Teta), 1910-2007. Papers, 1937-1994 (bulk 1946-1975). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn The, Daily Worker, and, The Daily World, Photographs Collection, Bulk, 1930-1990, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. Correspondence to W. A. Swanberg, 1963. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1928-1931. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Kenny, Robert W. (Robert Walker), 1901-1976. Robert W. Kenny and Robert S. Morris papers, 1940-1957. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Witter Bynner papers, 1829-1965. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Records, 1946-2000 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. Action in the North Atlantic : typescript, [1943]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Booth, Franklin, 1874-1948. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1912-1933. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Herbert Aptheker Papers, 1842-1999, (bulk 1934-1994) Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Gellert, Lawrence, 1898-1979. Lawrence Gellert papers, [ca.1932-1979]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Sidney Finkelstein Papers MS 128., 1914-1974 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. Marching song (temporary title), by John Howard Lawson ... New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn James Allen Papers, Bulk, 1945-1970, 1920-1986, (Bulk 1945-1970) Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
creatorOf League of American Writers. Correspondence : with Theodore Dreiser, 1935-1942. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Jerome, V. J. (Victor Jeremy), 1896-1965. Victor Jeremy Jerome papers, 1923-1967 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Allen, James S. Papers, [ca. 1927]-1985 (bulk 1945-1965). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. Jolson's story : mimeograph copy of typescript, 1945 Sept. 17. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Gaylor, Wood, 1883-1957. Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor papers, 1866- [ca. 1986]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. Castles in Spain / by Clifford Odets ; final draft continuity ; property of Walter Wanger Productions, Inc. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977. Processional; a play in three [i.e. four] acts. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, James S. person
associatedWith Allen, James S. person
associatedWith Aptheker, Herbert person
associatedWith Bessie, Alvah Cecil, 1904-1985. person
associatedWith Booth, Franklin, 1874-1948. person
associatedWith Burden, Carter, person
correspondedWith Bynner, Witter, 1881-1968 person
correspondedWith Chaplin, Charlie, 1889-1977 person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Donath, Ludwig, person
correspondedWith Finkelstein, Sidney Walter, 1909-1974 person
associatedWith Gaylor, Wood, 1883-1957. person
associatedWith Gellert, Lawrence, 1898-1979. person
correspondedWith Harvard Law School Forum corporateBody
associatedWith Jerome, V. J. (Victor Jeremy), 1896-1965. person
associatedWith Jolson, Al, d. 1950. person
associatedWith Kenny, Robert W. (Robert Walker), 1901-1976. person
associatedWith League of American Writers. corporateBody
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
correspondedWith Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950 person
associatedWith Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963. person
associatedWith Ornitz, Samuel, 1890-1957. person
associatedWith Rubinstein, Annette T. (Annette Teta), 1910-2007. person
associatedWith Screen Writers' Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Theatre Union, New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Trumbo, Dalton, 1905-1976. person
associatedWith United Artists Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Sickle person
associatedWith Walter Wanger Productions. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Spain
Subject
Playwriting
Drama (American)
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1894-09-25

Death 1977-08-11

Americans

Information

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