Open main menu

Aaron Edward Hotchner (born June 28, 1917)[note 1] is an American editor, novelist, playwright, and biographer.[6] He has written many television screenplays as well as a biography of Ernest Hemingway. He co-founded, with Paul Newman, the charity food company Newman's Own.[7]

A. E. Hotchner
Aaron Edward Hotchner

(1917-06-28) June 28, 1917 (age 102)
ResidenceWestport, Connecticut
Alma materWashington University (A.B.), (J.D.)
Spouse(s)Geraldine Mavor (1949-1969; her death)[1]
Ursula Robbins (1970-1995; divorced)[2]
Virginia Kiser (m. 2003)[3][4]

Early lifeEdit

Hotchner was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Tillie[8] (née Rossman), a Sunday school administrator, and Samuel Hotchner, a jeweler.[4] He attended Soldan High School. In 1940, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in both history (A.B.) and law (J.D.).[9] He was admitted to the Missouri State Bar in 1941, and briefly practiced law in St. Louis in 1941–42. After the outbreak of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a journalist, attaining the rank of major. When the war was over, he decided to forgo law and pursue a career in writing.[4]

Literary careerEdit

Hotchner has been an editor, biographer, novelist and playwright. In 1948, he met Ernest Hemingway, and the two were close friends until Hemingway's death in 1961. Hotchner wrote Papa Hemingway, his 1966 biography of Hemingway, whose work he had also adapted for plays and television. He wrote many teleplays in the 1950s and 1960s, including adaptations of Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Killers, and The Fifth Column.

The 1993 film, King of the Hill, directed by Steven Soderbergh, is a screen adaptation of Hotchner's 1973 autobiographical novel of the same name. A Depression-era, bildungsroman memoir, it tells the story of a boy struggling to survive on his own in a hotel in St. Louis after his mother is committed to a sanatorium with tuberculosis. His father, a German immigrant and traveling salesman working for the Hamilton Watch Company, is off on long trips from which the boy cannot be certain he will return.

Hotchner’s play, The White House, starred Helen Hayes on Broadway and was staged at the White House in 1996. In 1993, Welcome to the Club, a musical comedy written with composer Cy Coleman, appeared Broadway. In addition, Hotchner wrote A Short Happy Life, The Hemingway Hero, Exactly Like You (written with Coleman), and The World of Nick Adams.

Hotchner's play Sweet Prince was produced off-Broadway in 1982, at the Theater Off-Park, starring Keir Dullea and Ian Abercrombie.[10]

Personal life and philanthropyEdit

In 1982, with his friend and neighbor, actor Paul Newman, Hotchner founded Newman's Own, Inc. All profits from this line of food products and other ventures are donated to charities.[9]

In 1988, Hotchner and Newman co-founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a residential summer camp and year-round center for seriously ill children located in Ashford, Connecticut. The original camp was later expanded to become a number of other Hole in the Wall Camps at other locations in the U.S., Ireland, France, and beyond. By 2016, there were 30 camps and programs serving the needs of over 130,000 children and families around the world, as part of the SeriousFun Children's Network.

Hotchner has been honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.[11]

Hotchner resides with his wife Virginia Kiser in Westport, Connecticut, where he spends most weekends, and cares for an African gray parrot.[3]

Partial bibliographyEdit

  • The Boyhood Memoirs of A. E. Hotchner: King of the Hill and Looking for Miracles (Missouri History Museum Press, 2007, ISBN 9781883982607)
  • The Dangerous American (Random House, 1958)
  • Papa Hemingway (Random House, 1966)
  • Treasure (Random House, 1970)
  • King of the Hill (Harper & Row, 1973, ISBN 0-06-011964-0)
  • Looking for Miracles: A Memoir about Loving (Harper & Row, 1975, ISBN 0-06-011965-9)
  • Doris Day, Her Own Story (G. K. Hall, 1976, ISBN 0-8161-6391-X)
  • Sophia, Living and Loving : Her Own Story (Morrow, 1979, ISBN 0-688-03428-4)
  • The Man Who Lived at the Ritz (Putnam, 1981, ISBN 0-399-12651-1)
  • Papa Hemingway : The Ecstasy and Sorrow (Morrow, 1983, ISBN 0-688-02041-0)
  • Choice People : The Greats, Near-Greats, and Ingrates I Have Known (Morrow, 1984, ISBN 0-688-02215-4)
  • Hemingway and His World (Vendome, 1989, ISBN 0-86565-115-9)
  • Blown Away: The Rolling Stones and the Death of the Sixties (Simon & Schuster, 1990, ISBN 0-671-69316-6)
  • Louisiana Purchase (Carroll & Graf, 1996, ISBN 0-7867-0309-1)
  • The Day I Fired Alan Ladd and Other World War II Adventures (U. of Missouri Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8262-1432-0)
  • Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good: the Madcap Business Adventure of the Truly Oddest Couple Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner, (Random House, 2003, ISBN 0-385-51159-0).
  • Everyone Comes to Elaine's (Harper Entertainment, 2004, ISBN 0-06-053818-X)
  • Paul and Me: 53 Years of Adventures and Misadventures with My Pal Paul Newman (Random House Digital, 2010, ISBN 0-385-53234-2)
  • O.J. in the Morning, G&T at Night (St. Martin's Press, 2013, ISBN 1-250-02821-3)
  • Hemingway in Love (St. Martin's Press, 2015, ISBN 978-1-2500-7748-6)
  • The Amazing Adventures of Aaron Broom: A Novel, 2018, ISBN 978-0-385-54358-3

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ Not 1920, as is often seen, though that is a date he himself has used.[5]


  1. ^ "Author's Wife Dies at 51 in New York", The Calgary Herald, Jan. 9, 1969.[1] Accessed 2015-07-14
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Joyce M. - "A.E. Hotchner: From Hemingway to Newman's Own Salad Dressing", Associated Press, Mar. 17, 1988.[2] Accessed 2015-07-14
  3. ^ a b Buckley, Cara - "And the Parrot Said, ‘Bonjour’", The New York Times, May 28, 2010.[3] Accessed 2015-07-14
  4. ^ a b c - Contemporary Authors, A.E. Hotchner.[4] Accessed 2015-07-14
  5. ^ Barron, James (26 August 2018), He’s 101, Unless He’s Only 98. And He Just Wrote Another Novel., The New York Times, retrieved 26 August 2018
  6. ^ "A.E. Hotchner" Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine HarperCollins website. Accessed February 21, 2013.
  7. ^ "Hotch at 100: Growing Up In Saint Louis - University Libraries". University Libraries. 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Caine, Susan Wooleyhan (Summer 2008) 'A Multi-Storied Life' WUSTL Magazine. Accessed February 22, 2013.
  10. ^ Rich, Frank - "Hotchner's 'Sweet Prince'", New York Times, September 25, 1982.[5] Accessed 2015-07-14
  11. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

External linksEdit