Mann, Abby

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MANN, ABBY (1927– ), U.S. screenwriter. Born Abraham Goodman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant jeweler, Mann grew up in a working-class area of East Pittsburgh, a largely Catholic area, and attended Temple University and New York University. Mann wrote dramas for such 1950s television programs as Playhouse 90 and Studio One, and is considered a leader in the genre of the made-for-television movie; social justice issues are Mann's main inspiration. He received an Academy Award for his screenplay for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), based on the postwar trial of Nazi judges. Reuniting with Nuremberg's director, Stanley *Kramer, Mann wrote A Child Is Waiting (1963), about special-needs children, and then adapted the Katherine Anne Porter novel Ship of Fools (1965). Mann took Emmys for The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973), the pilot for the series Kojak, as well as for Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story (1989) and Indictment: The McMartin Case (cowritten with his wife, Myra Mann, in 1995). In 1975, Mann developed Medical Story, a short-lived series that cast a light on the medical world. Ten years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Mann explored whether there was a conspiracy to kill the civil-rights leader in the miniseries King (1978). In 1985, he wrote The Atlanta Child Murders, a case that focused on Wayne Williams, a black man accused of killing young boys after procuring them for his gay father.

[Adam Wills (2nd ed.)]