Biography and History

Budd Schulberg predicted in 1950 that he would be remembered as "the writer who reversed the usual process: started in Hollywood and worked East." He grew up in Hollywood, the son of film mogul B. P. Schulberg.

In a 1965 article in Los Angeles magazine, Schulberg reminisced about his Hollywood childhood. "If life is a series of disenchantments through which we prepare ourselves, then I was richly endowed, for our castles were built on glamorous quicksand" he wrote, referring to the success and failure of his father, who by the time of his death in 1957, was reduced to begging for employment and compulsive gambling.

After graduating from Dartmouth in 1936, Schulberg returned to Hollywood and worked as a screenwriter and, later, as a film producer. Throughout his career, he has returned to Hollywood subjects, most notably in his novels What Makes Sammy Run? (1941) and The Disenchanted (1950).

In addition to Hollywood themes, Schulberg's work has concentrated on larger social issues such as union racketeering, abuse of the public trust, and the moral costs of American success. His acclaimed screenplay "On the Waterfront" (1954) examined the corruption of organized labor on the New York docks. In the novel The Harder They Fall (1947), Schulberg exposed the harsh realities of professional boxing. He continued his journalist search for the truth with his screenplay "A Face in the Crowd" (1957) in which he emphasized the dangers of mass manipulation through television. In his memoirs, Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince (1981), Schulberg returned to where he started. He died in 2009 at the age of 95.

Source: From the finding aid for C0340