Date of birth : January 1, 1913, New York.
Date of death : March 7, 1995, Brooklyn.
Address 84 Ramsen Street, Brooklyn. Tel TR 51 357.
Occupation poet and novelist (). He also wrote the screenplay of the movie version of "A View From the Bridge" (1961) of Arthur Miller.
Son of Polish immigrants. He had a sister, Rose.
He grew up in Hurleyville, New York. He briefly considered following his father's career as a farmer, but quite early he decided to devote himself to writing and to city life. He would spent his whole life on Brooklyn.
He graduated from Brooklyn College (1935) and New York University (1936). Then he went to the University of
HR worked with the WPA Federal Theater and Writers Project when he had won a scholarship. Soon, he impressed Miller with his writing references which had been published in Partisan Review, The New Masses and Poetry Magazine.
Besides, Miller soon wrote an article about their first meeting in the humorous newspaper of the university, The Gargoyle.
Rosten also wrote some plays for the radio of the university, and for the campus theater. With Arthur, he shared not only the interest of writing, but also the same political convictions, maybe even more ardent than Miller's ones. One of the first thing Rosten did at the University of Michigan was to join the Young Communist League.
Thus, they formed a group of three friends, Arthur, Norman and Mary, until this one introduced them to her room-mate, Hedda Rowinski, who studied psychology, in order to work in the social world. She became Norman's girlfriend and would later be his wife.
He won the Avery Hopwood Award for his drama and poetry.
Returning to New York in 1939, they settled in New York, got married and found an apartment in Ramsen Street, Brooklyn Heights. They had a daughter named Patricia.
Mary Slattery was their neighbor, since she had gave up the university and followed Arthur.
Thus, the Rostens became Arthur's oldest friends.
He wrote poetry and also radio plays, some of them about American literary figures.
In 1940 he was named a winner in the Yale Series of Younger Poets for "Return Again, Traveler," his first book of verse.
The book led to a Guggenheim Fellowship (1941). Later, he published poetry in The New Yorker and other magazines.
His first play, "First Stop to Heaven," ran only eight performances in New York in 1941.
Mr. Rosten's other plays included "Mister Johnson", "Mardi Gras," "The Golden Door" and "Come Slowly, Eden," a portrait of Emily Dickinson.
He met Marilyn at the beginning of 1955, shortly after her moving in New York, through the photographer Sam
Shaw, a mutual friend.
He attended, with his wife, on December 12, 1955, the premiere of "The Rose Tattoo"
Marilyn nicknamed him "Claude" because of his resemblance with actor Claude Rains.
At the time when her affair with Miller was still a secret, they often met up at the Rosten's home or in their country house in Long Island.
On July 1, 1956, he attended the wedding of Marilyn and Arthur Miller
They remained friends until her death.
She showed them her gratitude for their friendship by bequeathing to them the sum of 5 000$ for the education of their daughter Patricia, but the legal quarrels didn't allow to release this money before 1975, several years after this one had graduated.
In the 1970's, he turned his attention from theater to fiction, writing "Over and Out" (1972), "Love in All Its Disguises" (1981) and "Neighborhood Tales" (1986).
His "Selected Poems" was published in 1979, and "Under the Boardwalk" was republished in 1991.
In 1979, Brooklyn's borough president named him as the poet laureat of Brooklyn.
He was a poetry consultant for Simon and Schuster Publishers.
His last companion was Ann Ware.Bibliography
"Marilyn : an Untold Story", Norman Rosten, New York, Signet books, 1973.
"Marilyn Among Friends", Sam Shaw et Norman Rosten, New York, Henry Holt, 1987.