Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.

Franz Kafka

Abby Mann - Biography

Abby Mann (December 1, 1927 – March 25, 2008) was an American film writer and producer.

Life and career

Born as Abraham Goodman in Philadelphia, he grew up in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was best known for his work on controversial subjects and social drama. His most famous work is the drama Judgment at Nuremberg, which was initially a television drama aired in 1959. Stanley Kramer directed the 1961 film adaptation, for which Mann received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In his acceptance speech, he said:

"A writer worth his salt at all has an obligation not only to entertain but to comment on the world in which he lives."

Mann later adapted the play for a 2001 production on Broadway, which featured Maximilian Schell from the 1961 film in a different role.

Mann and Kramer also collaborated on the 1963 film A Child is Waiting.

In the introduction to the printed script, Mann credited a conversation with Abraham Pomerantz, U.S. Chief Deputy Counsel, for giving him the initial interest in Nuremberg.

Working on television, he most notably created the television series Kojak, starring Telly Savalas. Mann was executive producer, but was credited as a writer also on many episodes. His other writing credits include the screenplays for the television films The Marcus-Nelson Murders, The Atlanta Child Murders, Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story, and Indictment: The McMartin Trial, as well as the film War and Love.

He died of heart failure in Beverly Hills, California on March 25, 2008, aged 80. He died one day after Richard Widmark, one of the stars of Judgment at Nuremberg.

While announcing Mann's death, BBC Radio 4 news presenter Charlotte Green caused controversy by laughing after what is believed to be the world's earliest recording, played during the preceding item, was described off-air as sounding like "a bee trapped in a jar". Radio 4 has expressed hopes that Mann's family will realise that no harm was intended.

His stepson is former Israeli Special Forces operative Aaron Cohen.

Mann is interred in Culver City's Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.


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