Norman Corwin

Show Count: 41
Series Count: 4
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: May 3, 1910, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: October 18, 2011, Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Norman Corwin, born May 3, 1910, has often been called "America’s Poet Laureate of the Radio." He wrote, produced and directed many of the phenomenally successful radio dramas during the 1930s and 1940s and was the inspiration for later drama writers in both radio and television such as Norman Lear, Rod Serling and Yuri Rasovsky.

During the Golden Age of Radio, Corwin wrote and/or produced such programs as The Columbia Workshop, An American in Russia, which followed another successful work, An American in England and others.

In the early days of radio, Corwin appeared as a panelist on the popular, Adventures of Ellery Queen mystery show with such celebrities as Guy Lombardo, Dorothy Kilgallen, Jane Russell and Orson Welles. These panelists ferreted out clues and played guessing games to bring the audience into the web of intrigue.

On May 4, 1941, CBS aired Columbia Presents Corwin, a dramatic anthology based on his works, including One World Flight, Passport for Adams, The Pursuit of Happiness, So This is Radio and This is War.

This show was a series that was produced and directed by Corwin and included a cast of Everett Sloane, Ted de Corsia, John Brown, Frank Lovejoy and a treasure trove of other radio personalities.

The Columbia Workshop and Columbia Presents Corwin were considered by CBS to be "crown jewels" in the genre that was both prestigious and powerful for any sponsor. Corwin enjoyed the status of a celebrity and mountains were often moved to give him the artistic freedom he desired.

It’s been said that Norman Corwin enjoyed more popularity than President Roosevelt during his tenure on radio, and Corwin did much to promote the war efforts during World War II.

It was President Roosevelt’s suggestion to Archibald MacLeish that radio help promote the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. Corwin was immediately chosen for the job. It was to be a 60 minute broadcast on the four national networks – at the same time.

Corwin made it happen – over 60 million persons tuned in to listen to We Hold These Truths on December 15, 1941. With a cast of such stellar stars as James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Orson Welles and Edward G. Robinson, the show was a major success.

On May 3, 2011, Norman Corwin celebrated his 101st birthday. He died in Los Angeles, California, on the 18th October 2011.

American In England, AnAmerican In England, An
Show Count: 6
Broadcast History: 3 August 1942 to 7 September 1942 and 1 December 1942 to 22 December 1942
Cast: Joseph Julian
Director: Norman Corwin
Producer: Norman Corwin, Edward R. Murrow
Columbia WorkshopColumbia Workshop
Show Count: 168
Broadcast History: 18 July 1936 to 8 November 1942, 7 March 1944 to 15 August 1944, 2 February 1946 to 25 January 1947 and 27 January 1956 to 22 September 1957
Cast: Orson Welles, Karl Swenson, Neil O'Malley, Fred Stewart, Minerva Pious, Burgess Meredith, Carl Frank, Joan Alexander, Arnold Moss
Director: Marx B Loeb, Irving Reis, William N Robson, Brewster Morgan, Earle McGill, Norman Corwin, Betzy Tuthill, James Fassett, Albert Ward, Carl Beier, Richard Sanville, Perry Lafferty, Guy della Cioppa, George Zachary, Martin Gosch, Howard Barnes
This was drama with a difference. Columbia Workshop was not everybody’s cup of tea and in terms of audience popularity it was always noted that it was never a strong contender for the title “Radios Top Rated Drama Series” and yet it was always considered to be the drama program that led the way in radio standards.
One World FlightOne World Flight
Show Count: 12
Broadcast History: 14 January 1947 to 8 April 1947
Producer: Norman Corwin, Lee Bland
Host: Norman Corwin
This Is WarThis Is War
Show Count: 4
Broadcast History: 1942
Director: Norman Corwin, Gerald Taylor
Broadcast: April 13, 1941
Added: Mar 08 2016
Broadcast: December 7, 1941
Added: May 25 2020
Broadcast: July 4, 1944
Added: Jul 04 2008
Broadcast: February 4, 1946
Added: Feb 25 2019
Broadcast: February 27, 1949
Added: Mar 28 2016
Broadcast: April 4, 1944
Added: Aug 21 2020
Broadcast: March 28, 1944
Added: Aug 23 2020
Broadcast: 3rd July 1945
Added: May 14 2011