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Arthur Arent


Born September 29, 1904, in Jersey City, New York, Arthur Arent was educated in the New York area and attended New York University. Before joining the Federal Theatre Project's Living Newspaper Unit he wrote sketches and staged reviews in a borscht belt resort in Green Mountains, N.Y. Arent supervised and edited and assisted in the writing of the scripts of the Living Newspaper's Ethiopia, Triple-A Plowed Under, 1935, Injunction Granted, Power and One-Third of a Nation. In 1938 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and left the Living Newspaper Unit to travel to Europe, where he intended to write an anti-war Living Newspaper. Conditions in Europe caused him to change his views, and instead he helped the French produce an enlistment film.

In 1941 he went to Hollywood to work as a scriptwriter. Arent joined the Office of War Information when the United States entered the War and wrote several documentaries for the war effort, including Cowboy (1943). In 1943 Elia Kazan produced his documentary play It's Up to You, which toured the country under the sponsorship of the Department of Agriculture. After the War he worked as a writer for the radio theatre programs Cavalcade of America, Theatre Guild of the Air, Hallmark Hall of Fame and U.S. Steel Hour. He retired in 1958. His novel, The Laying on of Hands, was published in 1969. Arthur Arent died May 18, 1972.




Arnold Goldman. "Life and Death of the Living Newspaper Unit." Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 111, No. 9. January-March 1973, p. 72.