George S. Kaufman

George S. Kaufman: Playwright, director; born in Pittsburgh, PA. After brief periods studying law and as a salesman, he began to contribute humorous material to newspapers; by 1915 he was writing for the theater section of the New York Tribune, moving to the The New York Times (1917-30). His first successful play, Duley (1921), was in collaboration with Marc Connelly, and during the next thirty-five years he enjoyed the almost unparalleled success, writing a string of sophisticated satires of contemporary life for the stage and movies in collaboration with others – Marc Connelly, Edna Ferber, Ring Lardner, Moss Hart, Alexander Woolcott, Robert Sherwood; his only success by himself was The Butter and the Egg Man (1925). After 1928 he staged most of his own plays, and although Hollywood constantly beckoned, he was never really comfortable there. With Morris Ryskind he wrote one of the most successful Marx Brothers scripts, “A Night at the Opera” (1935). He shared two Pulitzers – with Ryskind, for the book to the musical Of Thee I Sing (1931), and with Moss Hart for the play You Can’t Take It With You (1936).