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Louis J. Hazam papers

 Collection 0026-MMC-LAB

Louis J. Hazam (1911-1983) began his career as a writer and producer for radio and television in 1933, when he wrote commercials for the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency. From 1938 to 1945, Mr. Hazam was a scriptwriter for the U.S. Department of the Interior. In 1947, he was hired by NBC News, where he wrote and produced television programs and specials. Mr. Hazam won many awards during his career. The collection consists of scripts from Mr. Hazam's career as a writer and producer for radio and television productions, as well as five photographs and one transcription disc.


  • 1937-1971, and undated
  • Majority of material found within 1945-1951

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the special collections reading room staff.


4.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Louis J. Hazam papers spans the years from 1937 to 1971. The collection consists of scripts from Mr. Hazam's career as a writer and producer for radio and television productions. There are also five photographs (5) from the collection that are housed with the Library of American Broadcasting photo collection. One transcription disc of the radio program, "An American Prayer," third version, presented by the United States Department of the Interior, has been housed with other audio materials in the Library of American Broadcasting.


Louis J. Hazam, Television Writer and Producer, (1911-1983) was born in Norwich, Connecticut, on January 3, 1911 to George and Afifi (Habeeb) Hazam. He graduated from Columbia University in 1933 and after graduation wrote commercials for the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency. Mr. Hazam married Ruby Gene Hymer in 1939. They had two children, Nancy Lynn and Chad Thomas.

From 1938 to 1945, Mr. Hazam was a scriptwriter for the U. S. Department of the Interior. By 1945 he was writing for radio and television and continued until 1949. He started his career in television in 1947 when he was hired as a consultant for NBC News. In this capacity he wrote and produced television productions for NBC's coverage of the 1952, 1956 and 1960 national political conventions.

After covering the inauguration of President Eisenhower, Mr. Hazam worked on the 1956 series, March of Medicine, which was the first program to show a surgical operation, the birth of a baby, and the first to visit a mental hospital. March of Medicine was the first television program to win an Albert Lasker Medical Journalism Award. Mr. Hazam's biography of Vincent Van Gogh, based on his letters, Vincent Van Gogh: A Self-Portrait, won both Peabody and Emmy awards in 1962.

Mr. Hazam's productions were known for their use of original locations. His production, Shakespeare: Soul of an Age, for instance, was filmed in England Scotland, Wales and France and The River Nile was filmed from the river's source in the Mountains of the Moon in Central Africa to its mouth at the Mediterranean. For Michelangelo: The Last Giant, film crews went to Florence, Siena, Bologna, Rome and Milan.

His productions were also noted for not employing actors. He is quoted as saying, "I don't believe in using actors in documentaries. It lends a note of falsity. A documentary is supposed to be a reflection of truth, of actuality as much as possible." However, he used many noted actors as narrators for his documentaries, including Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir Michael Redgrave, James Mason, Peter Ustinov, and Raymond Massey.

As producer and writer for NBC News, Mr. Hazam's television specials include: NBC coverage of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, (1953); March of Medicine (series) (1956); Way of the Cross, (1960); Vincent Van Gogh: A Self-Portrait, U. S. #1: American Profile, Japan: East Is West, (1961); The River Nile, Shakespeare: Soul of An Age, Polaris Submarine: Journal of an Undersea Voyage, (1962); Greece, The Golden Age, (1963); John F. Kennedy Remembered, Orient Express, American Spectacle, (1964); The Capitol: Chronicle of Freedom, (1965); Michelangelo, The Last Giant, part I, (1965), part II, (1966); The National Gallery of Art, (1967); The Art Game, (1968); Sahara, (1969); and Venice Be Damned, (1972).

Mr. Hazam won many awards during his career. They include the: Christopher Award, 1961; George Foster Peabody Award, 1962; Emmy Award, 1962 and 1972; bronze award, 1962, and first place documentary award, 1963, Venice Film Festival; Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, 1963, 1964, and 1966. He was decorated by King Constantine of Greece for his production, Greece: The Golden Age, in 1963.

Mr. Hazam died on September 6, 1983, at age 72, from heart and kidney ailments.


The collection is organized as two series:

  1. Series 1: Radio Scripts
  2. Series 2: Television Scripts
Series 1
Radio Scripts
Series 2
Television Scripts
Guide to the Louis J. Hazam papers
Processed by Karen Fishman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2012-01-11: EAD markup checked and verified using Oxygen software by Jennie Levine Knies.
  • 2017-10-31: Finding aid reviewed by Rebecca Thayer.
  • 2009-04: EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Breanna Byecroft.
  • 2021-09-15: Finding aid updated by Joanne Archer. Minor editorial updates only. Noted that separated material could not be located.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742