John Howard Lawson

John Howard Lawson

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John Howard Lawson

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John Howard Lawson (September 25, 1894 - August 11, 1977) was an American writer.Obituary Variety, August 17, 1977, page 63. He was head of the Hollywood division of the Communist Party USA. He was also the cell's cultural manager, and answered directly to V.J. Jerome, the Party's New York-based cultural chief. He was the first president in the Writers Guild of America, West after they changed from their name from Screen Writers Guild.


Lawson was born in New York City, New York on September 25, 1894 to Simeon Levy and Belle Hart Lawson. His father would change their name from Levy to Lawson before Johnathon was born, his reason for which was so that his son could "obtain reservations at expensive resort hotels" When he was five, his mother died. She had named her children after people she admired: John Howard Lawson was named after John Howard, his sister Adelaide Jaffery Lawson was named after a friend of hers who was socially active, and Wendell Holmes Lawson was named after Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


After Simeon's wife died, he would take control of the children's education: first to Halstead School in Yonkers, New York and then Cutler School in New Rochelle, New York. In 1906, Simeon sent the three children on a tour of Europe, and seeing theatre was on the list. John Howard would take notes on the set designs, actors, and plays. In 1909, they were sent on a tour of America and...
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