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Sample Autograph Signature: Don Widener

American investigative journalist, independent film producer and writer, and novelist. Widener (1936 - 1996) was born in Oklahoma, studied journalism at Compton College, served in the Air Force during the Korean War, and then wrote for newspapers and aerospace companies. He joined KNBC-TV in Los Angeles in 1964 where he earned two local Emmys and a DuPont award for investigative broadcast journalism. In 1970, he became an independent film producer and writer. His first major project was his 1971 TV documentary Powers That Be for which he was sued by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Widener countersued for libel and, after an eight-year court fight, the matter was settled by PG&E paying Widener $475,000. The film, however, was never shown after its one local airing. Nationally, Widener was known best as the author of Jack Lemmon's authorized biography, Lemmon: A Biography, first published in 1975. Lemmon not only was a friend of Widener, but narrated four of his film documentaries on environmental and nuclear dangers. Widener other documentaries included Plutonium: Element of Risk, "The Slow Guillotine, and Timetable for Disaster which was also the title of his 1970 nonfiction book on global environmental problems. He also wrote a 1974 seriocomic novel, N.U.K.E.E. which he turned into a screenplay. His other screenplays included The Tenth Option for Marlon Brando, Night of the Possum, Scuttle, and The Ballad of Bigfoot. He was the recipient of numerous awards including 3 Emmys, the Broadcast Journalism Award from San Francisco State University, the Silver Award from the New York Film Festival, and the Silver Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival.

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Author: Don Widener

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