Friday, October 24, 2014

Frank Mankiewicz, father of TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, has died of heart failure at the age of 90.

He was the son of Herman J. Mankiewicz, who wrote "Citizen Kane", and the nephew of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who directed "All About Eve". He grew up with an Algonquin West round table -- his home constantly visited by movie stars, famous writers, and comedians like the Marx Brothers.

His life was one of constant reinvention: College was interrupted by WWII, during which he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. A journalist and lawyer, he was an executive with the Peace Corps, then Senator Robert Kennedy’s campaign spokesman. It was Mankiewicz who announced Kennedy's death to the nation. He ran George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, and famously failed to discover that Sen. Thomas Eagleton (McGovern's running mate) had undergone shock therapy for depression. He was president of NPR, and ran a large and highly respected D.C. consulting firm.

What he did, he did out of conviction. It didn't matter that he "started over" at age 30, 40, 50, or 60.

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