Aaron Sorkin (SHS 1979)

Producer, Writer

At Scarsdale High School, Aaron Sorkin was deeply involved in the Drama Club, serving as Vice President his junior and senior years.  Sorkin continued his love of the stage at Syracuse University, where he earned a bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater.  Initially, Sorkin hoped to be an actor, but experience taught him that his special talents lay in writing.

Sorkin’s first play,“ Removing All Doubt,” had mixed reviews, but his next effort “Hidden in This Picture” did better. In 1989, while still in his twenties, Sorkin hit the literary jackpot. He received the Outer Critics Circle Award for his drama “A Few Good Men” later nominated for a Golden Globe. In 1995, he wrote “The American President,” starring Michael Douglas, Annette Bening and Michael J. Fox.

Sorkin changed America’s Wednesday evenings. Starting with the pilot of “West Wing” on September 22, 1999, the life and times of his fictional president, Josiah Bartlet, captivated the television audience. “West Wing” garnered nine Emmy Awards the first year, a record that still stands. Until Sorkin left the show in 2003, “West Wing” continued to thrive, earning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2000, 2001, and 2002. In addition to the Emmys, Sorkin received nominations or awards from the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, the Golden Laurel Awards, the Television Critics Association Awards and, once again, the Golden Globes.

A nomination for that last award was also given to “Sports Night,” a critically acclaimed television show for which Sorkin was the executive producer.

In an interview a few years ago, Sorkin said, “I love writing but hate starting.” Writing won.