Murray Horwitz

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Murray Horwitz
Murray Horwitz on 14 July 2013 02.JPG
Murray Horwitz in 2013
BornSeptember 28, 1949 (1949-09-28) (age 69)[1]
OccupationAmerican actor, writer, NPR broadcaster, and arts administrator
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)Lisa Miller (m. September 7, 1974)[1]

Murray Horwitz is an American playwright, lyricist, NPR broadcaster, and arts administrator.[1]


Horwitz graduated from Kenyon College with a bachelor of arts degree, with a dual major, in English and Drama.[2] In 1992, he received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Kenyon College.[2]


Horwitz began his career working with Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus as a clown for three years.[2]

In 1973, after moving to New York City, Horwitz appeared in the one-man show, An Evening Of Sholom Aleichem, which was directed by Richard Maltby, Jr., and in which he continues to perform at The Kennedy Center, The Manhattan Theatre Club, and The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater. In 1978, Horwitz and Maltby created the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin', which won Tony, Obie, Emmy, Grammy, and New York Drama Critics' Circle awards.

He became the assistant director of Opera-Musical Theater at the National Endowment for the Arts in 1987.[3] Horwitz created Ain't Misbehavin' with Richard Maltby, Jr.[2] The musical is named after a Fats Waller song.[4] Horwitz received multiple awards for co-writing Ain't Misbehavin', including a Tony, Obie, Emmy, Grammy, and New York Drama Critics' Circle award.[2]

Since 1998, Horwitz has been creative consultant to the annual Mark Twain Prize ceremonies at the Kennedy Center.

In 1989, he began his career at NPR, where he was instrumental in giving Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me its start. He was also involved with Wynton Marsalis: Making the Music, and The NPR Basic Jazz Record Library.[5] Horwitz received three Peabody awards for his work at NPR.[2]

In 2002, Horwitz became the founding director of the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, in Silver Spring, Maryland. He later served in fundraising positions at Washington National Opera and the Washington Performing Arts Society.[3] He was part of the team that created the radio game show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!.[2] He is also frequently a panelist on another public radio game show, Says You!. Horwitz was the director and chief executive officer of the AFI Silver Theatre and Culture Center from 2002[2] until 2009.[6][7][8][9]

In 2016, Horwitz took over as host of WAMU's The Big Broadcast old-time radio show.[10]

He gave Lin-Manuel Miranda critical suggestions and bought him his first rhyming dictionary when Miranda was writing his first play, In The Heights.[11]

Credits and achievements[edit]

(in chronological and subject order)[1]

  • STAGE DEBUT—Clown, Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus, 1970-1972.
  • NEW YORK DEBUT—An Evening with Sholom Aleichem, Manhattan Theatre Club,1975-1976.
  • LONDON DEBUT—Co-author, associate director, Ain't Misbehavin', Her Majesty's Theatre, 1979.
    • An Evening of Sholom Aleichem, Grendel's Lair, Philadelphia, PA, 1975-1976.
    • The Body Politic, Chicago, IL, 1979.
    • An Evening of Yiddish Poetry, New York Shakespeare Festival, 1980;The Ballroom, NY, 1983.
    • Comedy consultant, Puntila, Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1977.
    • Co-author, associate director, lyricist, Ain't Misbehavin, Longacre Theatre, NY, Plymouth Theatre, NY, Morosco Theatre, NY, London, and Paris, 1978--. Also, director, Ain't Misbehavin, Stagewest, Alaska Repertory Theatre, and Kansas City Starlight Theatre.
    • Director, Jus' Like Livin', Chelsea's West Side Theatre, NY, 1979.
    • Actor, writer, and director, Hard Sell, New York Shakespeare Festival, 1980.
    • Writer and director, Carnegie at Midnight (ninetieth anniversary celebration), Carnegie Hall, NY, 1981.
    • Actor and director, A Comedy Cabaret with Jonathan Winters, Kenyon Festival, OH, 1981.
    • Writer and director, While Shubert Slept, reopening of the Shubert Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1984.
    • Writer and director, This Is Opening Night, reopening of the State Theatre, Cleveland, OH, 1984.
    • Co-author and co-director, Haarlem Nocturne, La Mama Experimental TheatreClub, NY, then Latin Quarter Theatre, NY, 1984.
    • Producer, writer, and director, A Tribute to Stan Kenton, Kool Jazz Festival, Avery Fisher Hall, NY, 1982.
    • The Making of a Song, Arts and Entertainment Network, 1981.
    • America, Where It All Happens, Arts and Entertainment, 1981.
    • Jazz Comes Home to Newport, PBS, 1984.
    • (In addition to the above items) Talking Morosco Blues (cabaret), Upstairs at O'Neals, NY, 1982-1983.
    • (Screenplay with others) Soldier Boy, Universal, 1982.


Horwitz was born in Dayton, Ohio on September 28, 1949 to Alan S. (a physician) and Charlotte (nee. Vangrov) Horwitz. He is married to singer Lisa Miller and has three children, Charles, Ann, and Alexander. They live in Chevy Chase, MD[12]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Murray Horwitz Biography (1949-)". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Murray Horowitz". US Department of State. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Murray Horowitz". US Department of State. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  4. ^ Karen Wada (April 24, 2012). "Richard Maltby Jr. reclaims Ain't Misbehavin'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  5. ^ Horwitz, Murray. "The World Has Stopped Turning, But Soaps Live On". NPR. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  6. ^ Jennifer Nycz-Conner (February 6, 2009). "Murray Hortwitz out at AFI". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  7. ^ "Murray Horwitz at NPR". National Public Radio. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  8. ^ Ori J. Lenkinski (November 11, 2012). "The Harlem Swing". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Lili Martinez (April 23, 2010). "Murray Horwitz '70 Not Clowning Around". The Kenyon College. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  10. ^ "The Big Broadcast Gets a New Host". WAMU.
  11. ^ WAMU Radio (April 23, 2010). "The Kojo Nnamdi Show".
  12. ^ "Murray Horwitz Biography (1949-)". Retrieved 1 August 2013.