The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers


Dore Schary (1905-1980)

Noted director, screenwriter and producer Dore Schary was born to Russian Jewish parents who managed a Newark, New Jersey, kosher delicatessen. In 1925, after completing high school, Schary spent three years working as a part-time drama coach, stage manager, and dishware salesman. In 1928, he joined the first of a series of small acting troops, traveled the country playing small parts in a variety of productions, and began writing screenplays. Schary began his Hollywood career when Columbia Pictures hired him as a screenwriter in 1932. Although he left Columbia the following year over a salary dispute, he became so successful as a freelancer (winning an Academy Award for his screenplay for "Boys Town") that in 1941 he signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) to direct several films (including "Lassie Come Home") for the studio. Throughout his career in theater and in Hollywood, Schary remained heavily involved with the Democratic party, developed close ties to Franklin D. Roosevelt, and campaigned extensively for Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956. After MGM abruptly fired Schary in 1956, he went back to New York and, working closely with ER, wrote "Sunrise at Campobello," a play about FDR's early struggle with polio, which he produced for the screen the following year. Schary continued his political work in New York, serving as national chair of the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'rith from 1963 to 1969 and as commissioner of cultural affairs in Mayor John Lindsay's administration. Schary died at his home in New York City in 1980.
Source: American National Biography Online. Internet on-line. Available From http://www.anb.org.