Zuckerman began his career writing short stories for Cosmopolitan, Collier's Weekly, and Esquire in the 1940s. He wrote the stories for the 1947 films The Fortress and Whispering City before completing his first screenplay, Trapped, in 1949. Additional credits include Border Incident (1949), B-movies like Spy Hunt (1950), Under the Gun (1951), Taza, Son of Cochise (1954), and The Square Jungle, and his best known works, Written on the Wind (1956) and The Tarnished Angels (1958), both collaborations with director Douglas Sirk.
Zuckerman's published novels include The Last Flapper (1969), loosely based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald and The Potato Peelers (1974).
Zuckerman died in Santa Monica, California one month after his 80th birthday.