Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

It Happened Today in New York City

On May 8, 1967, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Elmer Rice died of pneumonia. Rising to prominence on Broadway in the 1920’s, Rice was a contemporary of Philip Barry and Eugene O’Neill and a politically-minded dramatist who predated Clifford Odets (though was never quite as influential). Specializing in courtroom dramas, his early successes included such titles as On Trial, For the Defense, Is He Guilty?, and Counselor at Law. Spreading his wings further, he gained great acclaim for his satirical The Adding Machine, but is best remembered for Street Scene which won him the Pulitzer and was later adapted into an opera by Kurt Weill. He was on vacation in the UK when he contracted pneumonia and died at the age of 74.


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