Wednesday, October 19, 2011

RIP Norman Corwin, Godfather of Theatrical Radio


Norman Corwin died yesterday at the age of 101.

Corwin was the godfather of radio dramas, and essentially soap operas, during radio's golden age in the 30s and 40s.  Born in 1910 in Boston, Corwin got his start as a journalist and then as a news anchor for WBZA in Boston.


Having worked with everyone in radio from Orson Welles to William Robson, and often cited as the inspiration for Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury, among others, Corwin wrote, directed, and produced numerous radio dramas for CBS and other major networks in a career that spanned over 50 years.  Even in his 90's, his plays could be heard on NPR through 2001 and in 1993 he was inducted into the radio hall of fame.


Best known for productions such as The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, On a note of Triumph, and numerous wartime dramas, Corwin was a centerpiece in millions of family rooms every week from 1938 into the early 50's.  He wrote screenplays, books, poetry, plays and was one of the last remaining legends still with us from the greatest period in history for radio.  He was one of the first to use entertainment as a window into political and social issues and was the first person to receive the One World award for his contribution in mass communication during world war 2.

Corwin died in his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday of natural causes.  

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