Over the course of his 48-year career, Norton wrote for The Boston Post, The Boston Record American, and The Boston Herald American (now The Boston Herald). In 1982, the year of his retirement, the Elliot Norton Awards were established to honor Boston theater.
He was born on May 17, 1903 and attended Harvard, where he studied with George Pierce Baker. Norton graduated from Harvard in 1926 and began writing for The Boston Post soon after, becoming the Post's theater critic in 1934. Norton hosted the Elliot Norton Reviews talk show on WGBH in Boston for 24 years and he compiled a book, Broadway Down East, consisting of lectures he delivered at the Boston Public Library.
His honors included a Peabody Award in 1962, a George Jean Nathan Award in 1964, and a special Tony Award in 1971. The American Theater Critics Association voted him into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1988.
Norton is survived by a son, two daughters, and three grandchildren. A funeral mass will be held for him on Friday, July 25, 10:30am, at St. Patrick's Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, with burial to follow at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.
[Ed. Note: To access a 2000 TheaterMania article on the Elliott Norton Awards, click here.]