H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Ben Hecht, on
his career as a newspaper
man in Chicago.
Ben Hecht came to Chicago
at age 16 and worked
for the now defunct Chicago Journal as a
picture stealer. He was assigned to acquire, by
any means possible, photographs of murderers
and their victims. In 1914, Hecht became a crime
reporter for the Chicago Daily News.
By then, Hecht had also
become a flamboyant figure in Chicagos literary
renaissance, which included such writers as Carl Sandburg and Sherwood
Anderson. Dismissed by the Daily News on an obscenity charge after the
publication of his 1922 novel Fantazius Mallare, he founded his own short-lived
paper, The Chicago Literary Times, which he published while living
5210 South Kenwood Avenue.
After 1924, Hecht split
his time between New York and Hollywood, producing
his own stage plays and films and contributing to over 70 screenplays,
including Scarface (1932) and Notorious (1946). One of his
plays, The Front
Page (1928), written in collaboration with Charles MacArthur, created
persistent stereotype of a Chicago newspaper room infused with romance,
drama, and humor.