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Robert E. Sherwood
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Playwright
    (April 4, 1896-November 4, 1955)
    Born in New Rochelle, New York
    Film critic, playwright and screenwriter
    Movie critic for 'Life' and 'Vanity Fair'
    Wrote the plays 'The Road to Rome' (1927), 'The Queen's Husband' (1928), 'Waterloo Bridge' (1930), 'Reunion in Vienna' (1931), 'The Petrified Forest' (1935), 'Idiot's Delight' (1936), 'Abe Lincoln in Illinois' (1938), 'There Shall Be No Light' (1940) and 'Miss Liberty' (1949)
    Wrote screenplays for 'The Ghost Goes West' (1935), 'The Adventures of Marco Polo' (1938), 'Rebecca' (1940), 'The Best Years of Our Lives' (1946) and 'The Bishop's Wife' (1947)
    Speechwriter for Franklin D. Roosevelt
    As a student at Milton Academy, he accidentally set a classroom on fire while destroying reports about his bad behavior.
    He was suspended from Harvard for poor grades.
    He said his time at college was 'filled with attending movies, plays and musicals, drinking and carousing with friends in local pubs, and writing stories and drawing cartoons.'
    He got a job at Vanity Fair through the influence of his mother, a successful illustrator.
    He said about his plays, 'The trouble with me is I start with a big message and end up with nothing but good entertainment.'
    He was gassed while serving with the Canadian Black Watch during World War I.
    He, Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker were the three founding members of the Algonquin Round Table.
    He won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama (for 'Idiot's Delight,' 'Abe Lincoln in Illinois' and 'There Shall Be No Light') and one Pulitzer Prize for Biography (for 'Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History,' 1948).
    He won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for 'The Best Years of Our Lives.'
    When the FBI investigated him because of his close ties to FDR, Harold Ross told an agent, 'Investigate Sherwood? You might as well investigate the American flag.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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