Norman Corwin was often called “Radio’s poet laureate.”Born in Boston in 1910, Corwin began his radio career as a local commentator. He moved to New York City in 1938 and produced Norman Corwin’s Words Without Music for CBS. Two of Corwin’s masterworks, “The Plot to Overthrow Christmas” and “They Fly Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease,” debuted on this series.In 1941, CBS’ Columbia Workshop gave Corwin a 26-week series; he responded with stories ranging from the whimsical to the darkly serious to the inspirational. A similar approach was taken on 1944’s Columbia Presents Corwin.In December of 1941, Corwin wrote and produced We Hold These Truths, an all-star celebration of the Bill of Rights’ 150th anniversary. This landmark program aired over all four networks simultaneously.Corwin created the special V-E Day broadcast On a Note of Triumph, which Carl Sandburg called “one of the all-time great American poems.” Three months later, he wrote 14 August, a V-J Day documentary narrated by Orson Welles.Corwin left CBS in 1948 and produced a series of programs for United Nations Radio. In 2001, National Public Radio aired six new Corwin plays under the title More By Corwin.Norman Corwin died on October 18, 2011.Norman Corwin was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993.
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Norman Corwin was among the first producers to regularly use entertainment to tackle serious social issues.