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Norman Corwin

Norman Corwin is an American writer, producer, essayist and teacher of journalism and writing. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1910, son of Samuel and Rose Corwin. He was married, and has two children.

Table of contents
1 Biography
2 Later works
3 Religious writings
4 External links


Corwin was a major figure in during the Golden Age of Radio. During the 1940s and 1950s he was a writer, producer of many radio programs in many genres: history, biography, fantasy, fiction, poetry and drama. He was the writer and creator of series such as The Columbia Workshop, 13 By Corwin, 26 By Corwin, and others. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Southern California.

Corwin has won the One World Award, two Peabody Medals, an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a duPont-Columbia Award; he was nominated for an Oscar for best writing for Lust for Life (1956) . Corwin was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993.

Corwin began his career as a writer for a local Massachusetts newspaper, and soon moved to writing for WBZA, a radio station in Massachusetts. In 1938 Corwin moved to New York City, and soon began working for the CBS radio network. One of his first jobs was the writing and production of Norman Corwin’s Words Without Music. On this series aired two of his more famous works, The Plot to Overthrow Christmas and They Fly Through The Air, in reaction to the Spanish Civil War.

In 1941 he began work on 26 part series, Columbia Workshop.

His We Hold These Truths was first broadcast in December 15, 1941, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the United States Bill of Rights. Many radio and movie stars of the day were featured in this production, including an epilogue by American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. National Public Radio sponsored a new version of this program in 1991, for the bicentennial of the Bill of Rights.

One of his most famous work is On a Note of Triumph, first broadcast on VE Day, May 8, 1945. this work was a celebration of the Allied victory in Europe. Corwin wrote and directed two plays produced on Broadway, The Rivalry (1959) and The World of Carl Sandburg (1960). According to Ray Bradbury, Corwin was responsible for the eventual publication of Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles.

In the 1980s Corwin was one of the writing teachers of J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the television series Babylon 5. Stracyzynski named a recurring character in the series, David Corwin, after Norman, and on the rec.arts.babylon5.moderated newsgroup, wrote a series of posts on Norman Corwin's work.

Later works

In recent years National Public Radio commissioned a number of new plays by Corwin; the series was called More By Corwin.

Corwin is currently a lecturer at the University of Southern California.

Religious writings

Corwin is Jewish, and his parents observed Judaism. (His father, Sam Corwin, attended holiday services until his death at 112). While not an observant Jew, much of his work is infused with the ideas of the Hebrew Prophets. One of the prayerbooks of American Reform Judaism, Shaarei Tefila: Gates of Prayer, contains a prayer by Corwin.

Lord God of test-tube and blueprint
Who jointed molecules of dust and shook them till their name was Adam,
Who taught worms and stars how they could live together,
Appear now among the parliaments of conquerors and give instruction to their schemes:
Measure out new liberties so none shall suffer for his father's color or the credo of his choice:
Post proofs that brotherhood is not so wild a dream as those who profit by postponing it pretend:
Sit at the treaty table and convoy the hopes of the little peoples through expected straits,
And press into the final seal a sign that peace will come for longer than posterities can see ahead,
That man unto his fellow man shall be a friend forever.''

See also: Golden Age of Radio

External links