Harold Flender

Flender headshot
Harold Flender (1924-1975) was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He earned a B.A. from City College of the City University of New York and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University. His early writing success came as a comedy writer, often collaborating with Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen for sketch comedy shows including Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows and The Jackie Gleason Show. Subsequently he turned to writing for more serious television and film subjects. His televised An Act of Faith, an initial account of Denmark’s heroic act of saving 8,000 Jews from the Nazis, received the Christopher Award. His dramatization of John Brown’s Body won the B’nai B’rith Human Rights Award. Flender won the Best Articles and Short Stories Award for Cuba Libre. Other honors include a National Council of Churches of Christ citation, an Anti-Defamation League grant, a Writers’ Guild Award and a Fulbright scholarship.

In addition to television scripts and documentaries, Flender wrote many educational and industrial films. He taught film writing at Columbia University, New York University, School of Visual Arts, The New School and was a guest lecturer at Centre d'Etudes de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française, University of Dakar and Syracuse University. He was a member of P.E.N. and the Writers Guild East. In addition to Rescue in Denmark, Flender wrote two non-fiction books, We Were Hooked and The Kids Who Went to Israel. His works of fiction include To Be, Basso and his first published novel, Paris Blues, which was made into a major film. He was a contributor to Intellectual Digest, Saturday Review, Nation, New Leader, L’Express, Variety, Boy’s Life and other periodicals.

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