Himan Brown

"I never dreamed when I was winding wire around a Quaker Oats box to create my first crystal set that I would eventually spend seventy wonderful years as a radio producer." Those are the first words of Himan Brown upon learning of his American Broadcast Pioneer Award. Hi Brown is in every sense "Mr. Radio Drama." In the 1930's through the 1950's, millions upon millions of listeners heard his productions which included such long running hits as Inner Sanctum Mysteries, The Thin Man, Grand Central Station, Bulldog Drummond, Nero Wolfe, Dick Tracy and Joyce Jordan M.D.

Himan Brown was born, raised and educated in New York City. He became interested in radio drama while still in his teens. Even as he was earning his B.A. at Brooklyn College and his LL.B. at Brooklyn Law School, Brown was acting in radio and in 1929 packaged The Rise of the Goldbergs, which he partnered with Gertrude Berg and sold to NBC. Because of his love of radio drama and fast start in the business, he never practiced law.

left: Himan Brown in the booth; right: "Inner Sanctum" on the air.

Himan's career was exclusively radio until the last 1940's when he began to do television dramas. He was responsible for Lights Out, the filmed series of Inner Sanctum Mysteries and the Chevy Mystery Show. Realizing that to remain an independent producer he would need facilities, Brown built a production center on East 26th Street in New York. The center's two sound stages soon became the busiest in New York and today are owned and operated by All Mobile Video, and called Chelsea Studios.

The CBS Radio Mystery Theater on the air! (left to right: Tony Roberts, Lois Nettleton, Norman Rose, Terri Keane and host E.G. Marshall)

The CBS Radio Mystery Theater was a continuation of Inner Sanctum Mysteries with the legendary creaking door. It ran on the CBS Radio Network, with 350 affiliates, from January 1974 until December 1982, seven nights a week until 1980, when it aired 5 times a week. Brown produced, directed and cast every production.

In addition to his love for radio and the spoken word, Hi is an ardent collector of impressionistic art. Brown has received dozens of awards including a Peabody. He is deeply involved in community affairs in his beloved New York City.