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Aaron Sorkin at the Inauguration in the final episode of The West Wing.

Aaron Benjamin Sorkin (born on June 9, 1961 in New York City) is an American screenwriter, television producer and playwright.


After briefly attending the State University of New York at Purchase (SUNY Purchase), Sorkin graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre. After a brief stint at acting, he quickly established a reputation as a young, promising playwright on the New York theatre scene. His 1989 Broadway play A Few Good Men was made into a critically acclaimed feature film in 1992, kick-starting his Hollywood career.

Sorkin is probably best known for his intellectual|highbrow TV drama, The West Wing starring Martin Sheen as the President of the United States, a series originally conceived from leftover dialogue written for Sorkin's 1995 feature The American President. The West Wing was honored with 9 Emmy's for its debut season, making the show a record holder for most Emmys won by a series in a single season. The Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series was awarded to each of the first four West Wing seasons. Sorkin left the show in 2003 at the end of the fourth season (the subsequent fifth season failed to get the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy award, though it was nominated). Before The West Wing, Sorkin also created and wrote many of the episodes of the critically acclaimed but short lived TV dramedy Sports Night, which ran from 1998-2000 on ABC.

As a writer, Aaron Sorkin received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series (The West Wing). In addition, he has received numerous nominations and awards at the Golden Globes, Television Critics Association Awards, Producers Guild of America Golden Laurel Awards and the Writers Guild of America Awards.

When producing a show, Sorkin is intimately involved with the writing process. A writing team that he led wrote every episode of The West Wing. Sorkin describes his role in the creative process as "not so much [that of] a showrunner or a producer. I'm really a writer." He admits that this approach can have its drawbacks, saying "Out of 88 (West Wing) episodes that I did we were on time and on budget never, not once."

Sorkin was arrested on April 15, 2001 after guards at a security checkpoint at the Burbank Airport found hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and cocaine in his carry-on bag. He was later ordered to a drug-diversion program.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

During The West Wing's fourth season, major shake ups occurred. Some fans believed the show had lost its way, an opinion that was not helped when series star Rob Lowe--initially slated to be the central character but given less and less screen time as the show went on--chose to leave the series. Soon after, Sorkin and fellow executive producer Thomas Schlamme left the show in a dispute with the network.

In June 2004, Sorkin completed a screenplay based on the story of Philo Farnsworth (entitled The Farnsworth Invention), to be directed by Schlamme. While the film production appeared to be on hold, in 2005, it was announced that The Farnsworth Invention was going to be rewritten as a play to be performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. The La Jolla Playhouse in California announced in early 2006 that it was also going to stage a production of the play in conjunction with The Abbey. But Variety [1] reported in February 2006 that the The Abbey had pulled out of the joint effort due to internal disagreements and changes in the theatre's management. According to the article, there is no conflict between the theatre and Sorkin. The play was scheduled to debut at the La Jolla Playhouse on February 13 2007. A version of his play A Few Good Men opened in the West End of London in the fall of 2005, starring Rob Lowe.

In October 2005, NBC announced that it had picked up his new writing project Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, on which he worked with his frequent partner, Schlamme. Premiering in the autumn of 2006, the show starred Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford and Amanda Peet. Although it received critical acclaim, Studio 60 lasted only one season.

Sorkin has also adapted George Crile's Charlie Wilson's War for Tom Hanks's production company, with Tom Hanks in the title role [2]. Reports from Variety [3] and the Hollywood Reporter [4]indicate that Julia Roberts is interested in co-starring in the film, and that Mike Nichols will be the director.

Sorkin also worked on the screenplay for the successful film The Social Network, which detailed the founding of Facebook.


  • Sports Night (television series, 1998-2000; creator, writer, executive producer)
  • The West Wing (television series, 1999-2006; creator, writer, executive producer (1999-2003))
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (television series, 2006-2007; creator, writer, executive producer)
  • The Newsroom (television series, 2012; creator, writer, executive producer)


  • A Few Good Men (1992; screenplay)
  • Malice (1993; screenplay, story)
  • The American President (1995; writer)
  • The Rock (1996; uncredited)
  • Charlie Wilson's War (2006; screenplay)
  • The Farnsworth Invention (writer - Announced)
  • The Social Network (2010; screenplay)
  • Steve Jobs (2015; screenplay)


  • A Few Good Men (1989; playwright)
  • Hidden in this Picture (1990; playwright)
  • Making Movies (1992; playwright)
  • The Farnsworth Invention (writer - Announced)


External links

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