He was born in the Bronx, New York on January 29, 1923. He studied at the City College of New York and Fordham University and served in the army during World War II, during which he was awarded a Purple Heart.
He began writing for a living in the 1940s. His work on Marty, first as a live production for television in 1953 and then for film two years later, gave him his first major success. Marty, starring Ernest Borgnine was named Best Picture Oscar for 1955. Chayefsky's work on that and other teleplays inspired comparisons with Arthur Miller, and he received an Academy Award for his work on the screenplay. He focused on screenplays after the success with Marty, with films such as The Goddess (for which he received an Oscar nomination) and The Bachelor Party. In the 1960s his writing credits included The Americanization of Emily and Paint Your Wagon. He went on to win two more Oscars for his work on The Hospital (1971) and the film for which he best known, Network, for both of which he also received Golden Globe awards. His last film was based on his novel Altered States, though on the film he was credited under his real first and middle name, Sidney Aaron, because of disputes with the director.
External link (and a partial source for this page): The Museum of Broadcast Communications