Cooper, Lester

Cooper, Lester
(ca. 1919–June 6, 1985)
   Lester Irving Cooper began his film career as a writer for WARNER BROS. in 1937. Drafted in 1941, he spent the next five years in the U. S. Army, where he wrote the first joint British-American film on the invasion of a French town. After the war, Cooper stayed in England, writing feature films for J. Arthur Rank and British National Productions, including Meet the Navy (1946). In 1949 Cooper returned to the United States and started his own film production company. He then joined Esquire magazine as chief copywriter and also wrote freelance magazine pieces. In 1953, the year after he produced STANLEY KUBRICK’s documentary THE SEAFARERS, Cooper joined CBS News as a writer on the Eye of New York series. He also wrote a CBS News special titled A Day Called X (1957) and wrote for the series FYI. Departing CBS News in 1956, Cooper joined NBC News as a writer for Today, starring Dave Garroway. After several years with NBC, he left to become head writer and supervising producer of PM, the 90-minute nightly news and talk show with Mike Wallace for Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. A freelancer once more, Cooper produced a series of 11 shows with Dave Garroway called Exploring the Universe, which was nominated for an Emmy Award. He joined ABC News in 1964 as a staff producer for the weekly public affairs program ABC Scope, and was associated with numerous award-winning news specials. He was named an executive producer with the ABC News documentary unit in 1967, and in 1971 he was chosen as executive producer and writer of the Peabody Award–winning children’s series, Make a Wish. Cooper’s other credits at ABC include Hemingway’s Spain: A Love Affair (1968); The Right to Live, a study of Medicare and Medicaid; Can You Hear Me?, the story of the special problems encountered by a child born deaf; Heart Attack; View From the White House, featuring Lady Bird Johnson; and the children’s series Animals Animals Animals. Cooper retired from ABC in 1984, the year before his death. He was survived by his wife, Audrey; son, Matthew; and daughters, Kim and Elizabeth.
   ■ “Biography: Lester Cooper,” ABC press relations, New York, 1975;
   ■ “Lester Irving Cooper” (obituary), Variety, June 19, 1985, p. 109;
   ■ “Lester Irving Cooper Is Dead; Produced TV Documentaries,” New York Times, June 13, 1985, p. B12.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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