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about us


 

The Radio Drama Network (Melina Brown, President) was founded by legendary audio drama director and producer, Himan Brown, to support art forms that use the spoken word to enrich our culture. Himan was a champion of all storytellers, from the tradition of the earliest stranger who wandered from town to town with tales of the latest news, to Academy Award winning writers that contributed to his thousands of radio dramas, to the writers silenced by the Red Scare who were just trying to feed their families; Himan strove to keep writers writing and actors acting, telling tales that spun out in the grandest oral traditions of history, often addressing important social issues. Himan was the son of immigrants who became an actor, a director/producer and a gifted orator early in his life.  His medium was the new frontier of radio. He began his career reading Yiddish stories over the airwaves from hotel bathrooms fashioned into audio studios, and quickly moved from packaging and starring in shows such as the Rise of the Goldbergs to creating his own shows.

During the height of radio, he created hundreds of radio series such as Inner Sanctum, Little Italy, Grand Central Station, Dick Tracy, The Shadow, Bulldog Drummond, and The Thin Man. Following television’s rise, he resurrected audio drama on the airwaves with CBS Radio Mystery Theater and Adventure Theater. Himan Brown lamented the dearth of dramatic and interesting programming on today’s airwaves, and he continued to create shows and series well into his 90s. Himan created the Radio Drama Network as a family foundation to continue his philanthropic work. He was a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who doted on his great-grandchildren. Himan Brown died three weeks’ shy of 100 years old in 2010.

I never dreamed when I was winding copper wire around a Quaker Oats box to create my first crystal set, that I would spend seventy wonderful years as a radio producer.

—Himan Brown, upon winning the American Broadcast Pioneer Award in 1999