George Simon Kaufman
Kaufman began his career as a journalist, but in 1918 turned to writing for the stage. His name is linked with over 30 hits, almost all his plays having been written in collaboration with others, such as Marc Connelly, Edna Ferber, Morrie Ryskind, and Moss Hart. For each year from 1921 to 1941, Kaufman, as either writer or director, had at least one hit Broadway show. He was an acknowledged master of stage technique and comedy, and plays such as Once in a Lifetime (1930), You Can't Take it With You (1937, Pulitzer Prize), and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1939) have found their way into many anthologies. In 1946 he wrote his dramatic version of The Late George Apley, the novel by J.P. Marquand, an admirable example of his skill in adapting from one artistic
Kaufman was married in 1917 to Beatrice Bakrow until her death on October 6, 1945. Four years later, he married actress Leueen MacGrath on May 26, 1949, with whom he collaborated on a number of plays before their divorce in August 1957.
Kaufman died in New York City on June 2, 1961, at the age of 71.
J.M. Brown, Broadway in Review (1940), 88–94, 169–76; idem, Seeing Things (1946), 205–11; E.M. Gagey, Revolution in American Drama (1947), 217–20; J. Mersand, Traditions in American Literature (1939), 14–24; A.H. Quinn, History of the American Drama, 2 (1937), 220–5. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Meredith, George S. Kaufman and His Friends (1975).
[Joseph Mersand /
Robert L. DelBane (2nd ed.)]