Budd Schulberg, the famed author of "What Makes Sammy Run"? and the screenplay for "On the Waterfront" passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Jim Fisher, professor of Catholic studies at Fordham University and author of the upcoming book, On the Irish Waterfront, offers an appreciation of Budd's life and work here. As Jim points out, there aren't many other people who could claim to be friends with both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Spike Lee!
Though not a Catholic, Schulberg developed an expert's knowledge of the papal social encyclicals while researching a series of articles on corruption on the New York City docks. It was there that he met Jesuit John 'Pete" Corridan of the Xavier Labor School, who served as the inspiration for the priest played by Karl Malden in the "Waterfront." As it happens, Malden died just last month.
Check the America Web site in a few weeks for a special feature on the Jesuit Labor school and the New York waterfront narrated by Jim Fisher.