John Howard Lawson

American writer, specializing in plays and screenplays.

John Howard Lawson (September 25, 1894 – August 11, 1977) was an American writer, specializing in plays and screenplays. After starting with plays for theaters in New York City, he worked in Hollywood on writing for films. He was the first president of the Writers Guild of America, West after the Screen Writers Guild divided into two regional organizations.

Lawson was one of the Hollywood Ten, the first group of American film industry professionals to be blacklisted by Congress during the 1950s McCarthy era's investigation of communist influence in Hollywood. He and his colleagues refused to testify; he was convicted of contempt of Congress and served a year in prison. He moved to Mexico, where he wrote some books about theater. After returning to the US, he taught at some universities in California. He wrote the screenplay under a pseudonym for Cry, the Beloved Country (1951), an adaptation of Alan Paton's novel about South Africa that was critical of apartheid.

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