Before becoming a screenwriter, he was a star reporter and feature writer for the New York Post.
Directed 2 actors to Oscar nominations: Rosalind Russell (Best Actress, Sister Kenny (1946); Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)) and Michael Redgrave (Best Actor, Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)).
First artist to refuse the Oscar when he won Best Screenplay for The Informer (1935).
President of the Screen Writers Guild. [1937-1938]
Refused to accept the Oscar for his writing for The Informer (1935) because of the antagonism between several industry guilds and the academy over union matters.