Robert Greenwald (born August 28, 1945) is an American film director, film producer, and political activist.
His career began in the 1970s and '80s directing television and motion pictures, perhaps most notably the big-budget musical Xanadu (1980).
Greenwald was born and raised in New York City, the son of Ruth and Harold Greenwald, a psychologist  and the nephew of choreographer Michael Kidd. He attended the city's High School of Performing Arts. He was active in New York theater, directing the plays Me and Bessie (1975) and I Have a Dream (1976), a play based on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., with Billy Dee Williams playing King.
Television and feature film career
Greenwald then moved to Los Angeles, where he launched a career as a director for television. In 1977, he received his first of three Emmy Award nominations for producing the television movie 21 Hours at Munich about the massacre at the 1972 Olympics. His next Emmy nomination came in 1984 for directing The Burning Bed. During this period he produced or directed many television movies; The New York Times would later characterize this work as "commercially respectable B-list movies". Later, Greenwald would foray into film directing, including films such as Xanadu (1980), Breaking Up (1997) and Steal This Movie! (2000).
After Steal This Movie!, Greenwald turned toward making issues-oriented documentary films, and he executive-produced three political documentaries known as "The Un Trilogy": Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (2002); Uncovered: The Whole Truth About The Iraq War (2003), which Greenwald also directed; and Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties.
Greenwald is the founder of Brave New Films, a liberal media company that has published documentary films such as Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism (2004), Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006), The Big Buy: Tom Delay's Stolen Congress, and Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.
Typically Greenwald's approach has been to adapt the principles of guerrilla filmmaking to political documentaries, using small budgets and short shooting schedules to produce films and then distributing them on DVDs or the Internet in affiliation with politically sympathetic groups such as MoveOn.org.
Awards and honors
Greenwald's films have garnered 25 Emmy Award nominations, four CableACE Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, the Peabody Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Award, and eight Awards of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board. He was awarded the 2002 Producer of the Year Award by the American Film Institute.
For his activism, Greenwald has been honored by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the New Roads School, Consumer Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the Office of the Americas. He is co-founder (with actor Mike Farrell) of Artists for Winning Without War, whose purpose is to advance progressive causes and voice opposition to the Iraq War.
Various sources have described Greenwald's political activism as left-wing. Greenwald has lectured at Harvard University for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and speaks frequently across the country about his work. Since May 2005, Greenwald has been a contributing blogger to The Huffington Post.