Harry Ackerman papers, 1928-1990 Rauner Manuscript ML-81

Biography

Harry Ackerman was born November 17, 1912, in Albany, New York. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1935, and immediately found work in radio as a freelance actor and writer. In 1936, he joined Young and Rubicam in New York City as radio director, rising through the ranks to become Vice President of radio programs. In 1948, Ackerman joined CBS as Executive Producer and Vice President of network programming, and moved to Hollywood. During the early 1950's, Ackerman rose to Vice President in charge of television programs at CBS. He helped create "I Love Lucy", and "Gunsmoke", among other programs. He formed Ticonderoga Productions in 1956, and as an independent producer, created "Leave It To Beaver", and "Bachelor Father". Ackerman joined Screen Gems Pictures Corporation in 1958, and remained until 1973, as Vice President in charge of production. Some of his successful programs during those years include "The Donna Reed Show", "Hazel", "The Farmer's Daughter," "Bewitched," "Gidget," "Love On A Rooftop" and "The Flying Nun". In 1973, Ackerman became associated with Paramount Television; he moved to Hanna-Barbera in 1975. A year later, he formed his own company, Harry Ackerman Productions, producing and selling programs to the networks. For two years, 1980-1982, he was Vice President in charge of television for Capital Pictures. By 1984, as President of Harry Ackerman Productions, he was producing television movies. Ackerman won two Emmy Awards for his work, and was the first producer ever honored by the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters at their 1974 luncheon. In 1985, a star was dedicated to him on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ackerman died in 1991.

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