Columnist-Author Morris Ryskind
Aug. 25, 1985
CRYSTAL CITY, Va. (AP) _ Morris Ryskind, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, co-author of several Marx Brothers films and a newspaper columnist, died Saturday of a heart attack. He was 89.
Ryskind shared a Pulitzer prize in 1932 with George S. Kaufman and Ira Gershwin for the show ''Of Thee I Sing,'' the first musical to win a Pulitzer for drama.
He was a co-author of the Marx Brothers classics ''The Coconuts,'' ''Animal Crackers'' and ''A Night at the Opera.''
Ryskind, who was born in New York City, attended Columbia University, but was ejected in 1917 because of his anti-war views and activities.
He was a reporter at the New York World in 1917 and contributed to the National Review before becoming a columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate in 1960. The service continued distributing his columns after he moved on to the Washington Star Syndicate in 1965. In 1972, he moved to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and wrote political columns until 1978, when his failing eyesight prevented him from making regular contributions.
Ryskind also wrote the screenplays for ''My Man Godfrey,'' ''Stage Door,'' ''Room Service,'' ''Man About Town,'' ''Penny Serenade,'' ''Claudia'' and ''It's In The Bag.''
Ryskind's wife of 56 years, Ruth, was at his side when he died at their condominium across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., said John Roberts, a family friend working on Ryskind's biography.
Ryskind also is survived by a son, daughter, and three granchildren.
The funeral is to be private.