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Norman Corwin, radio pioneer, dies at 101

Oct. 19, 2011 at 7:42 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Norman Corwin, an early broadcasting pioneer described by some as radio's poet laureate, died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 101.

Corwin, who died Tuesday, was among the first people to use radio as a means of exploring important social issues, Variety said Wednesday.

He was born in Boston in 1910 and worked at several newspapers before moving to radio. He moved to New York in 1936 and began working for the CBS Radio Network in 1938.

In December 1941, Corwin wrote and produced the landmark program "We Hold These Truths" to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. It was narrated by Orson Welles and aired simultaneously over all four networks a week after Pearl Harbor.

For V-E Day in 1945, Corwin created the program "On a Note of Triumph," described by Carl Sandburg as "one of the all-time great American poems." It was Corwin's most famous program and was heard by an audience of 60 million at a time when the U.S. population was about 130 million, Variety said.

In 1957, Corwin received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay adaptation of Irwin Stone's "Lust for Life" in 1957.

Corwin was most recently a writer in residence at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

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