Was a sickly child, spending much of his youth suffering with a series of illnesses
In early 1930s, family relocated from Michigan to New Hampshire and later Worcester, Massachusetts
While still in his teens, hired as a cub reporter at the Worcester <i>Telegram</i>
Left newspaper reporting to work as an editor and feature writer for radio
After college, worked as editor of daytime serials for Proctor and Gamble
Drafted into the US Army during WWII; spent part of time entertaining troops by recreating his father's vaudeville act
Moved to California after WWII to pursue career as a radio writer
Wrote for the radio series "The Whistler" and "Twelve Players"
Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis; hospitalized for a year and a half at a veterans' facility in Massachusetts
Hired as a writer on "My Favorite Husband", starring Lucille Ball
Wrote for radio shows including "Amos and Andy", "Alias Jane Doe" and "The Adventures of Sam Spade"
First produced screenplay, "Red Ball Express"
First script directed by Alfred Hitchcock, "Rear Window"; nominated for an Academy Award
Wrote two screenplays filmed by Hitchcock, "The Trouble With Harry" and "To Catch a Thief"
Last collaboration with Hitchcock, "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
Penned the adaptation of "Peyton Place"; earned second Oscar nomination
Adapted Thornton Wilder's play "The Matchmaker" into a feature film
Scripted "Butterfield 8", adapted from stories by John O'Hara
Began association with Joseph E Levine and Embassy Pictures
Had two screenplay adaptations produced, "The Chalk Garden" and "The Carpetbaggers"
Wrote the original story and the screenplay for the Western "Nevada Smith"
Penned the screenplay for "Walking Tall", the biography of Sheriff Buford Pusser; opted to remove name from credits
First script for a TV-movie, "Winter Kill" (ABC)
Produced and wrote pilot episode for a proposed NBC series based on "Nevada Smith"
First feature script after 14-year pause, "Champagne for Breakfast"
Wrote the teleplay for the CBS biopic "Pancho Barnes"
Taught film studies and screenwriting at Dartmouth College