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Roger O. Hirson, Book Writer of Pippin, Dies at 93

Hirson earned a Tony nomination for his work on the classic Stephen Schwartz musical.

The cast of the 2013 Broadway revival of Pippin.
(© Joan Marcus)

Roger O. Hirson, the Tony-nominated book writer of Pippin, died at his home in Manhattan on May 27 at the age of 93.

Hirson famously collaborated with composer Stephen Schwartz on the musical, which earned 11 Tony Award nominations in 1973, winning five. He made his Broadway debut six years prior, penning the book to the musical Walking Happy, which featured music by James Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn (Hirson cowrote the book with Ketti Frings). Hirson additionally authored the plays World War 2 1/2 and Journey to the Day, both of which ran off-Broadway in the 1960s.

Hirson was born in Manhattan on May 5, 1926. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II and earned a bachelor's degree in English from Yale University. He spent the majority of his career writing for television, beginning with anthology series and eventually transitioning into television movies and feature films.

He is survived by two sons, David (playwright of La Bête) and Christopher, as well as a grandson. Hirson's second wife, Jean Tan de Bibiana, died in 2007.


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