Aaron Sorkin
American screenwriter, producer, playwright
Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin is an Academy and Emmy award winning American screenwriter, producer, and playwright, whose works include A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War, The Social Network, Moneyball and The Newsroom.
Aaron Sorkin's personal information overview.
News abour Aaron Sorkin from around the web
Lin-Manuel Miranda drops pitch-perfect 'West Wing' tribute rap
Yahoo News - about 1 month
Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda and Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing , have a lot in common. They're both fiery wordsmiths, well-known for their ability to write spellbinding swathes of dialogue, not to mention their shared fascination with American politics. Given those similarities, it seemed inevitable that their minds would meet. And now they have (sort of) in the form of a truly impressive West Wing rap produced by the West Wing Weekly podcast and featuring Miranda on the mic. Borrowing fictional President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet's "What's next?" catchphrase for its title and basic structure, the song lays the in-jokes and character call-outs on thick.  Rhyming "agent Butterfield level detail" and "Vera Wang retail" has to be a highlight, but to be honest it's all good. Nice to have something related to U.S. politics that's not flat-out depressing. You're breaking my balls: Tennis pro smashes rival in the groin during match Let this 94-year-old gym junkie be your 201 ...
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Yahoo News article
Brandinista's Best + Worst Brands of 2016 Music, Theater, Retail, and More
Huffington Post - about 2 months
I started Best + Worst Brands as a weekly column in 2009. It was a way for me to talk about what I love (brand, culture, and design) while opening a window into my life (therapy). A form of creative nonfiction-New Journalism. Thank you for reading and sharing, sending me stuff to review, and encouraging me to write. To note, my criteria for selecting 2016's Best and Worst brands are as follows: 1. Engagement 2. Transparency 3. Relevancy 4. Impact 5. Endurance I wanted this list to be expansive across industries and to note, obvious failures like Wells Fargo and Samsung have not been isolated because my peers at Forbes and The Wall Street Journal have done a good job of slamming them already. I'm writing original content here☺ (in my Jersey Shore voice). With Jon Stewart off the air and a desert of researched and fact-checked truths on nearly every cable and online news platform, I found solace watching the patriotic Saturday Night Live cast through the iridescent suds in ...
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Huffington Post article
If An Opera About Steve Jobs Is Something That Interests You, It Is Also Something That Exists
Huffington Post - 2 months
For years, people thought it couldn’t be done. Previous generations would scoff at its very possibility. Virtually weightless, visually compelling and utterly cool, the latest release from Apple visionary Steve Jobs is ... an opera. OK, Jobs didn’t write it. But we wouldn’t be in this predicament without him. Truly, but strangely, a piece titled “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” is headed to the Santa Fe Opera in July, The Wall Street Journal reports. Songs that most certainly will not, but should, be featured include “Get Your Head Out Of The Cloud, Baby Steve,”  “iAm Steve, Steve iAm,” and “LBT: Little Black Turtleneck.” If you, like us, are wondering what in the world a Steve Jobs opera would look like and why anyone would possibly make it, the minds behind the show are coming together to discuss the work’s progress and process at The Guggenheim in New York City in April. Composer Mason Bates, librettist Mark Campbell and director Kevin Newbur ...
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Huffington Post article
What Parents Are Telling Their Daughters After The Election
Huffington Post - 3 months
In the days after Donald Trump was elected to be the next U.S. president, many fathers and mothers racked their brains and dug deep into their psyche trying to explain to their sons and daughters "How America selected a racist, sexist bully" as our next president. Most are concerned about their daughters. Why our daughters? Perhaps to console them that a woman is not going to be our next president? Perhaps to somehow explain to them how a bully, a man who has said so many vile things about women, minorities, Muslims, people with disabilities is going to be our next president? Perhaps to try to wipe away the fears and the tears of little Latinas who will now have recurring nightmares about being torn away from their parents, perhaps to never see them again? Perhaps to try to explain the unexplainable: How Americans could elect as their leader a man who has bragged about doing horrible things to women and has been accused by many women of doing exactly that. H ...
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Huffington Post article
Parenting After The Election: Choosing Hope, Not Hate
Huffington Post - 3 months
I think we can ALL agree last week was a whirlwind of emotion and chaos. It certainly was for me. I spent the better part of Wednesday and Thursday in tears, feeling as if I was mourning a loss. I had not been that upset about the state of our country since September 11. Listening the radio, watching television and being online feels like a repeat of the aftermath of that day, when every article and commentator trying to answer the same question: How did this happen? On Election Night, my daughter, Sophie, and I sat together to watch the returns. She kept talking about how worried she was about Trump winning (partly because of all the talk with other kids). She brought to the sofa a box of tissues (for tears, she said) and her copy of the United States Constitution. I told her not to worry, and put her to bed before many of the big results were announced. As the night grew longer, it became clear a Clinton loss was inevitable. And all I could do was shake my head and think, "Wh ...
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Huffington Post article
Aaron Sorkin's emotional letter to daughter about Trump
CNN - 3 months
Aaron Sorkin wrote an open letter to his 15-year-old daughter, Roxy, and her mother calling Donald Trump an "incompetent pig" after he was elected president.
Article Link:
CNN article
Aaron Sorkin Writes Emotional Letter To Daughter After Trump's Win
Huffington Post - 3 months
Ever since Donald Trump’s win, countless celebrities, including Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, have expressed concerns over what it means for the nation’s children and especially for its young girls, who have missed this chance to see the first female U.S. president.  And one in particular, Aaron Sorkin ― creator of “The West Wing” and the writer of the 1995 film “American President” ― is especially outraged. Sorkin shared with Vanity Fair a letter he penned to his 15-year-old daughter, Roxy, in the wake of the election results. The teenager was apparently tearful late Tuesday night and Sorkin said he felt powerless as a father to help her. “Well the world changed late last night in a way I couldn’t protect us from. That’s a terrible feeling for a father. I won’t sugarcoat it—this is truly horrible,” Sorkin wrote in the strongly-worded letter. Sorkin called out president-elect Trump, along with his supporters, with angry words and highlighted the fear many groups are fe ...
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Huffington Post article
'Network' Came Out 40 Years Ago And Trump Is Proof It Still Matters
Huffington Post - 5 months
The relationship we have with the media is a complicated one. We binge, hate-watch, cry, and laugh with characters familiar and unfamiliar. We equally suspend our disbelief and get all swept up in it. Few films have summarized (and satirized) this relationship as well as the movie “Network” ― a shocking feat when you remember that the film came out in 1976. Still, “Network” remains a provocative and influential film that acts as both a timepiece and a terrifying crystal ball.   The film follows respected anchorman Howard Beale, who we’re introduced to just as he gets fired from the network he works for, UBS. Distraught, Beale announces that he’s going to kill himself on air à la Christine Chubbuck, sending ratings through the roof. The black dramedy then takes many wild turns beginning with the ratings-hungry TV executives keeping Beale on the air as he mentally breaks down night after night. Other plot points include the beautiful, albeit heartless, reporter Diana Christen ...
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Huffington Post article
How the 2016 race is like 'The West Wing'
CNN - 5 months
Aaron Sorkin could be earning royalties off the 2016 campaign.
Article Link:
CNN article
Aaron Sorkin Reveals That We Have The Internet To Thank For The Existence Of 'The West Wing'
Yahoo News - 8 months
The political hit The West Wing did an admirable job of embodying everything that is Aaron Sorkin, much like his other shows like Sports Night and The Newsroom did. When Sorkin was penning the pilot episode it was during the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton scandal and he was told to shelve the idea of looking behind-the-curtain in the White House with a noble President as the centerpiece. “They were kind of interested in it, but they brought me up to the Chairman’s office and had some notes,” Sorkin told the crowd at the ATX TV Festival during a West Wing reunion panel.
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Yahoo News article
NBC taps Aaron Sorkin and 'A Few Good Men' for next live production
LATimes - 11 months
A few good men are making their way to NBC and one of them happens to be Aaron Sorkin. The Emmy- and Oscar-winning screenwriter is returning to the network to spearhead a live performance of his acclaimed play "A Few Good Men," which is set to air in early 2017, NBC announced Wednesday. "The West...
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LATimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Aaron Sorkin
  • 2016
    Age 54
    In August 2016, Aaron Sorkin launched a series of online screenwriting lessons through MasterClass.
    More Details Hide Details His lessons include dialogue, character development, story pacing, plot and his process of working. Students watch 35 short videos, download a PDF workbook, and share their observations and progress through discussion boards and social media groups. Sorkin has written for the theatre, film and television, and in each medium his level of collaboration with other creators has varied. He began in theatre which involved a largely solitary writing process, then moved into film where he collaborated with director Rob Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman, and eventually worked in television where he collaborated very closely with director Thomas Schlamme for nearly a decade on the shows Sports Night, The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip; he now moves between all three media. He has a habit of chain smoking while he spends countless hours cooped up in his office plotting out his next scripts. He describes his writing process as physical because he will often stand up and speak the dialogue he is developing.
    In March 2016, it was announced that Sorkin would be adapting A Few Good Men for a live production on NBC, slated to air in 2017.
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    In February 2016, it was revealed that Sorkin will be adapting To Kill a Mockingbird for the stage, where he will be working alongside Bartlett Sher.
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    In January 2016, it was announced that Sorkin would make his directorial debut with the film Molly's Game for Sony Pictures Entertainment, based on Molly Bloom's memoir and which he would adapt by himself.
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    On January 10, 2016, Sorkin won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for his work on this film.
    More Details Hide Details It was announced in 2011 Sorkin would be returning to television with two HBO projects. He has teamed with The Office star John Krasinski to develop a miniseries about the Chateau Marmont Hotel based on Life at the Marmont, a book by the hotel's co-owner Raymond R. Sarlot and Fred Basten. He also developed The Newsroom, a series about a fictional cable news network. The series lasted three seasons, premiering on June 24, 2012, and concluding on December 14, 2014.
  • 2015
    Age 53
    In September 2015, it was reported that Sorkin is writing a biopic that will focus on the twenty year marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and their work together on I Love Lucy and The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour.
    More Details Hide Details Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett is set to star as Ball, while the role of Arnaz is yet to be determined.
  • 2013
    Age 51
    In January 2013, he dropped out of the project, citing film and TV commitments.
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    The musical was expected to come out in 2013-14, with Sorkin saying "The chance to collaborate with Stephen Schwartz, (the director) Jack O'Brien, and Hugh Jackman on a new Broadway musical is a huge gift."
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  • 2012
    Age 50
    In January 2012, Stephen Schwartz was reported to be writing the music and lyrics, with Sorkin making his debut as a librettist.
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  • 2010
    Age 48
    In November 2010, it was reported that Sorkin would be writing a musical based on the life of Houdini, with music by Danny Elfman.
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    In 2010, Sorkin reportedly obtained the film rights to Andrew Young's book The Politician (about Senator John Edwards), and announced that he would make his debut as a film director while also adapting the book for the screen.
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  • 2008
    Age 46
    In August 2008, Des McAnuff announced that Sorkin had been commissioned by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival to write an adaptation of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard.
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  • 2007
    Age 45
    On July 12, 2007, Variety reported that Sorkin had signed a deal with DreamWorks to write three scripts.
    More Details Hide Details The first script is titled The Trial of the Chicago 7, which Sorkin was already developing with Steven Spielberg and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. In March 2010, Sorkin's agent, Ari Emanuel, was reported as saying that the project was proving "tough to get together". However, in late July 2013, it was announced that Academy Award nominated director Paul Greengrass was in final talks to direct Sorkin's script and that Steven Spielberg had previously been attached.
    In March 2007, it was reported that Sorkin had signed on to write a musical adaptation of the hit 2002 record Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by psychedelic-rock band The Flaming Lips, collaborating with director Des McAnuff who had been developing the project.
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    Sorkin completed the screenplay and the film was released in 2007 starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, directed by Mike Nichols.
    More Details Hide Details In August 2008, Sorkin announced that he had agreed to write a script for Sony and producer Scott Rudin about how Facebook was founded. The film, The Social Network, based on Ben Mezrich's novel The Accidental Billionaires, was released on October 1, 2010. Sorkin won the Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards for The Social Network. One year later, Sorkin received nominations for the same awards for co-writing the screenplay to the film Moneyball. In May 2012, Sony announced that Sorkin would write a movie based on Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs. Sorkin was a guest at the D10 conference in May 2012 and explained his thoughts at the time on the adaptation of Isaacson's biography: To be honest, one of the hesitations I had in taking on the movie is that it was a little like writing about the Beatles—that there are so many people out there who know so much about him and who revere him that I just saw a minefield of disappointment. Frankly, that I was going to do something and that people who... hopefully, when I'm done with my research, I'll be in the same ball park of knowledge about Steve Jobs that so many people in this room are.
  • 2005
    Age 43
    In 2005, Sorkin revised his play A Few Good Men for a revival at the London West End theatre, the Haymarket.
    More Details Hide Details The play opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the fall of the same year and was directed by David Esbjornson, with Rob Lowe of The West Wing in the lead role. Sorkin's return to film occurred when he was commissioned by Universal Pictures to adapt 60 Minutes producer George Crile's nonfiction book Charlie Wilson's War for Tom Hanks' production company Playtone. Charlie Wilson's War is about the colorful Texas congressman Charlie Wilson who funded the CIA's secret war against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
    He delivered a first draft of the play to the Abbey Theatre in early 2005, and a production was purportedly planned for 2007 with La Jolla Playhouse in California deciding to stage a workshop production of the play in collaboration with the Abbey Theatre.
    More Details Hide Details But in 2006, the Abbey Theatre's new management pulled out of all involvement with The Farnsworth Invention. Despite the setback, La Jolla Playhouse pushed on, with Steven Spielberg lending his talents as producer. The production opened under La Jolla's signature Page To Stage program which allowed Sorkin and director Des McAnuff to develop the play from show to show according to audience reactions and feedback; the play ran at La Jolla Playhouse from February 20, 2007 through March 25, 2007. A production followed on Broadway, beginning in previews at the Music Box Theatre and scheduled to open on November 14, 2007; however, the play was delayed by the 2007 Broadway stagehand strike. The Farnsworth Invention eventually opened at the Music Box Theatre on December 3, 2007 following the end of the strike; it closed on March 2, 2008.
  • 2004
    Age 42
    During the 2004 US presidential election campaign, the liberal advocacy group MoveOn's political action committee enlisted Sorkin and Rob Reiner to create one of their anti-Bush campaign advertisements.
    More Details Hide Details In August 2008, Sorkin was involved in a Generation Obama event at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills, California, participating in a panel discussion subsequent to a screening of Frank Capra's Mr Smith Goes to Washington. Despite this Sorkin does not consider himself a political activist noting "I've met political activists, and they're for real. I've never marched anyplace or done anything that takes more effort than writing a check in terms of activism". In 1987, Sorkin started using marijuana and cocaine. He has said that in cocaine he found a drug that gave him relief from certain nervous tensions he deals with on a regular basis. In 1995, he checked into rehab at the Hazelden Institute in Minnesota, on the advice of his then girlfriend and soon to be wife Julia Bingham, to try to beat his addiction to cocaine. In 2001, Sorkin along with colleagues John Spencer and Martin Sheen received the Phoenix Rising Award for their personal victories over substance abuse. However, two months later on April 15, 2001, Sorkin was arrested when guards at a security checkpoint at the Burbank Airport found hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana, and crack cocaine in his carry-on bag when a metal crack pipe set off the gate's metal detector. He was ordered to a drug diversion program.
  • 2003
    Age 41
    In 2003, Sorkin was writing a screenplay on spec about the story of inventor and television pioneer Philo Farnsworth, a topic he had first become familiar with back in the early 1990s when producer Fred Zollo approached him with the idea of adapting a memoir by Elma Farnsworth into a biopic.
    More Details Hide Details The next year he completed the screenplay under the title "The Farnsworth Invention", and it was picked up by New Line Cinema with Thomas Schlamme signed on to direct. The story is about the patent battle between inventor Philo Farnsworth and RCA tycoon David Sarnoff for the technology that allowed the first television transmissions in the United States. At the same time, Sorkin was contacted by Jocelyn Clarke, the commissions manager of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, requesting he write a play for them, a commission which he accepted. In time Sorkin decided to tackle his commission by rewriting "The Farnsworth Invention" as a play.
    In 2003, Sorkin divulged to the American television interviewer Charlie Rose on The Charlie Rose Show that he was developing a TV series based on a late-night sketch comedy show like Saturday Night Live.
    More Details Hide Details In early October 2005, a pilot script dubbed Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip for a new television series, written by him and with Tommy Schlamme attached as producer, started circulating around Hollywood and generating interest on the web. A week later, NBC bought from Warner Bros. Television the right to show the television series on their network for a near-record license fee in a bidding war with CBS. The show's name was later changed to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Sorkin described the show as having "autobiographical elements" to it and "characters that are based on actual people" but said that it departs from those beginnings to look at the backstage maneuverings at a late night sketch comedy show. On September 18, 2006, the pilot for Studio 60 aired on NBC, directed by Schlamme. The pilot was critically acclaimed and viewed by over 12 million people, but Studio 60 experienced a significant drop in audience by mid-season. The seething anticipation that preceded the début was followed up by a large amount of thoughtful and scrupulous criticism in the press, as well as largely negative analysis in the blogosphere. In January 2007, Sorkin spoke out against the press for focusing too heavily on the ratings slide and for using blogs and unemployed comedy writers as sources. After two months on hiatus, Studio 60 resumed to air the last episodes of season one, which would be its only season.
    In 2003, at the end of the fourth season, Sorkin and fellow executive producer Thomas Schlamme left the show due to internal conflicts at Warner Bros.
    More Details Hide Details Television not involving the NBC network, thrusting producer John Wells into an expanded role as showrunner. Sorkin never watched any episodes beyond his writing tenure apart from 60 seconds of the fifth season's first episode, describing the experience as "like watching somebody make out with my girlfriend." Sorkin would later return in the series finale for a cameo appearance as a member of President Bartlet's staff. Sorkin appeared as himself on the 30 Rock episode "Plan B", where he did a "walk and talk" with Liz Lemon played by Tina Fey.
  • 2002
    Age 40
    In 2002, Sorkin criticized NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw's TV special about a day in the life of a president, "The Bush White House: Inside the Real West Wing", comparing it to the act of sending a valentine to President George W. Bush instead of real news reporting.
    More Details Hide Details Sorkin's TV series The West Wing aired on the same network, and so at the request of NBC's Entertainment President Jeff Zucker he apologized, but would later say "there should be a difference between what NBC News does and what The West Wing TV series does." Sorkin wrote 87 screenplays in all, which amounts to nearly every episode during the show's first four Emmy-winning seasons. Sorkin describes his role in the creative process as "not so much of a showrunner or a producer. I'm really a writer." He admits that this approach can have its drawbacks, saying "Out of 88 Wing episodes that I did we were on time and on budget never, not once."
  • 2001
    Age 39
    In 2001, after wrapping up the second season of The West Wing, Sorkin had a drug relapse, only two months after receiving a Phoenix Rising Award for drug recovery; this became public knowledge when he was arrested at Hollywood Burbank Airport for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana, and crack cocaine.
    More Details Hide Details He was ordered by a judge to attend a drug diversion program. His drug addiction was highly publicized, most notably when Saturday Night Live did a parody called "The West Wing", though he did recover.
  • 1999
    Age 37
    The pilot debuted in the fall of 1999 and was produced by Warner Bros.
    More Details Hide Details Television. The West Wing was honored with nine Primetime Emmy Awards for its debut season, making the series a record holder for most Emmys won by a series in a single season at the time. Following the ceremony, a fiasco ensued, centered on the category for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. The The West Wing episode "In Excelsis Deo" won, which was awarded to Sorkin and Rick Cleveland, while it was reported in a The New York Times article that Cleveland had been ushered off the stage by Sorkin without being given a chance to say a few words. The story behind The West Wing episode is based on Cleveland's father, a Korean war veteran who spent the last years of his life on the street, as Cleveland explains in his FreshYarn.com essay titled "I Was the Dumb Looking Guy with the Wire-Rimmed Glasses". A back and forth took place between Sorkin and Cleveland in a public web forum at Mighty Big TV where Sorkin explained that he gives his writers "Story By" credit on a rotating basis "by way of a gratuity" and that he had thrown out Cleveland's script and started from scratch. In the end, Sorkin apologized to Cleveland. Cleveland and Sorkin also won the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama at the 53rd Writer Guild of America Awards for "In Excelsis Deo".
  • 1998
    Age 36
    Sports Night was produced by Disney and debuted on the Disney-owned ABC network in the fall of 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Sorkin fought with the ABC network during the first season over the use of a laugh track and a live studio audience. The laugh track was widely decried by critics as jarring, with Joyce Millman of Salon.com describing it as "the most unconvincing laugh track you've ever heard". Sorkin commented that: "Once you do shoot in front of a live audience, you have no choice but to use the laugh track. Oftentimes the laughs is the right thing to do. Sometimes you do need a cymbal crash. Other times, it alienates me." The laugh track was gradually dialed down and was gone by the end of the first season. Sorkin was triumphant in the second season when ABC agreed to his demands, unburdening the crew of the difficulties of staging a scene for a live audience and leaving the cast with more time to rehearse.
  • 1997
    Age 35
    Sorkin conceived the political drama The West Wing in 1997 when he went unprepared to a lunch with producer John Wells and in a panic pitched to Wells a series centered on the senior staff of the White House, using leftover ideas from his script for The American President.
    More Details Hide Details He told Wells about his visits to the White House while doing research for The American President, and they found themselves discussing public service and the passion of the people who serve. Wells took the concept and pitched it to the NBC network, but was told to wait because the facts behind the Lewinsky scandal were breaking and there was concern that an audience would not be able to take a series about the White House seriously. When a year later some other networks started showing interest in The West Wing, NBC decided to greenlight the series despite their previous reluctance.
  • 1996
    Age 34
    Sorkin married Julia Bingham in 1996 and divorced in 2005, with his workaholic habits and drug abuse reported to be a partial cause.
    More Details Hide Details Sorkin and Bingham have one daughter, Roxy. Sorkin was a dependent cocaine user for many years and, after a highly publicized arrest in 2001, he received treatment in a drug diversion program. For several years, he dated Kristin Chenoweth, who played Annabeth Schott on The West Wing (though after Sorkin had left the show). He has also reportedly dated columnist Maureen Dowd and actress Kristin Davis. A consistent supporter of the Democratic Party, Sorkin has made substantial political campaign contributions to candidates between 1999 and 2011, according to CampaignMoney.com.
  • 1992
    Age 30
    A Few Good Men was released in 1992 and was a box office success.
    More Details Hide Details Goldman also approached Sorkin with a story premise, which Sorkin developed into the script for Malice. Goldman oversaw the project as creative consultant while Sorkin wrote the first two drafts. However, he had to leave the project to finish up the script for A Few Good Men, so screenwriter Scott Frank stepped in and wrote two drafts of the Malice screenplay. When production on A Few Good Men wrapped up, Sorkin took over and resumed working on the Malice right through the final shooting script. Harold Becker directed the film, a medical thriller released in 1993, which starred Nicole Kidman and Alec Baldwin. Malice had mixed reviews. Vincent Canby in The New York Times described the film as "deviously entertaining from its start through its finish". Roger Ebert gave it 2 out of 4 stars, and Peter Travers in a 2000 Rolling Stone review summarized it as having "suspense but no staying power".
  • 1990
    Age 28
    Sorkin continued writing Making Movies and in 1990 it debuted Off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre, produced by John A. McQuiggan, and again directed by Don Scardino.
    More Details Hide Details Meanwhile, David Brown was producing a few projects at TriStar Pictures and tried to interest them in making A Few Good Men into a film but his proposal was declined due to the lack of star actor involvement. Brown later got a call from Alan Horn at Castle Rock Entertainment who was anxious to make the film. Rob Reiner, a Castle Rock producing partner, opted to direct it. In the early 1990s, Sorkin worked under contract for Castle Rock Entertainment, Inc. He wrote the scripts for A Few Good Men, Malice and The American President: The three films grossed about US$400 million worldwide. While writing for Castle Rock he became friends with colleagues such as William Goldman and Rob Reiner and met his future wife Julia Bingham, who was one of Castle Rock's business affairs lawyers. Sorkin wrote several drafts of the script for A Few Good Men in his Manhattan apartment, learning the craft from a book about screenplay format. He then spent several months at the Los Angeles offices of Castle Rock, working on the script with director Rob Reiner. William Goldman (who regularly worked under contract at Castle Rock) became his mentor and helped him to adapt his stageplay into a screenplay. The movie was directed by Reiner, starred Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore and Kevin Bacon, and was produced by Brown.
  • 1988
    Age 26
    In 1988, Sorkin sold the film rights for A Few Good Men to producer David Brown before it premiered, in a deal that was reportedly "well into six figures".
    More Details Hide Details Brown had read an article in The New York Times about Sorkin's one-act play Hidden in This Picture and found out Sorkin also had a play called A Few Good Men that was having Off Broadway readings. Brown produced A Few Good Men on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. It starred Tom Hulce and was directed by Don Scardino. After opening in late 1989, it ran for 497 performances.
    After that, he wrote Hidden in This Picture which debuted off-off-Broadway at Steve Olsen's West Bank Cafe Downstairs Theatre Bar in New York City in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details The contents of his first two plays got him a theatrical agent. Producer John A. McQuiggan saw the production of Hidden in This Picture and commissioned Sorkin to turn the one-act into a full-length play called Making Movies. Sorkin got the inspiration to write his next play, a courtroom drama called A Few Good Men, from a phone conversation with his sister Deborah (who had graduated from Boston University Law School and signed up for a three-year stint with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps). Deborah told Sorkin that she was going to Guantanamo Bay to defend a group of Marines who came close to killing a fellow Marine in a hazing ordered by a superior officer. Sorkin took that information and wrote much of his story on cocktail napkins while bartending at the Palace Theatre. He and his roommates had purchased a Macintosh 512K so when he returned home he would empty his pockets of the cocktail napkins and type them into the computer, forming a basis from which he wrote many drafts for A Few Good Men.
  • 1984
    Age 22
    He continued writing and eventually put together his first play, Removing All Doubt, which he sent to his old Syracuse theatre teacher, Arthur Storch, who was impressed. In 1984, Removing All Doubt was staged for drama students at his alma mater, Syracuse University.
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  • 1983
    Age 21
    After graduating from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre in 1983, Sorkin moved to New York City where he spent much of the 1980s as a struggling, sporadically employed actor who also worked odd jobs, such as delivering singing telegrams, driving a limousine, touring Alabama with the children's theatre company Traveling Playhouse, handing out fliers promoting a hunting-and-fishing show, and bartending at Broadway's Palace Theatre.
    More Details Hide Details One weekend, while housesitting at a friend's place he found an IBM Selectric typewriter, started typing, and "felt a phenomenal confidence and a kind of joy that he had never experienced before in his life."
    Determined to do better, he returned in his sophomore year, and graduated in 1983.
    More Details Hide Details Recalling the influence on him at college of drama teacher Arthur Storch, Sorkin recalled, after Storch's death in March 2013, that "Arthur's reputation as a director, and as a disciple of Lee Strasberg, was a big reason why a lot of us went to Syracuse. "You have the capacity to be so much better than you are", he started saying to me in September of my senior year. He was still saying it in May. On the last day of classes, he said it again, and I said, "How?", and he answered, "Dare to fail". I've been coming through on his admonition ever since".
  • 1979
    Age 17
    In 1979, Sorkin attended Syracuse University.
    More Details Hide Details In his freshman year he failed a class that was a core requirement. It was a devastating setback because he wanted to be an actor, and the drama department did not allow students to take the stage until they completed all the core freshman classes.
    He served as vice president in his junior and senior year at Scarsdale High School and graduated in 1979.
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  • 1961
    Born on June 9, 1961.
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