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Robert Richter (American film producer)

Robert Richter (born October 23, 1929) is an American film director and producer. He has been nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short.[1][2]

Robert Richter
Born (1929-10-23) October 23, 1929 (age 89)
New York, NY, USA
OccupationDocumentary filmmaker, producer, screenwriter
Years active1958-present
  • Anne Kerrebrock Richter (div. 1993, d. 2007)
  • Elizabeth "Libby" Bassett (married 1994-present)
  • Roxanne, b. 1954
  • Allison, b. 1958
  • Rowena, b. 1962
  • Isabella, b. 1965

Early life and educationEdit

After graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School, young Robert headed west to California’s Occidental College[3] for a Telluride Association experimental program, then to Reed College,[4][5] and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Professional lifeEdit

After the Iowa Writers Workshop, Richter joined Oregon Public Broadcasting initially as a producer-reporter, then Director of Public Affairs programs.[6] In addition he reported from the Pacific Northwest for The New York Times. A CBS News Fellowship brought him back to New York where he earned an M.A. in Public Law and Government at Columbia University. He is the last member of the Edward R. Murrow-Fred Friendly CBS Reports[7] unit still actively producing documentaries.

After he left CBS in 1968 to become an independent filmmaker, his company, Richter Productions, Inc. made more than 50 documentaries telecast in prime time on HBO, PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, TBS, Discovery, BBC and major overseas television outlets.[8]


Few documentary filmmakers have received as many honors: the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences nominated two Richter films for best documentary short;[1][2] he received a 2008 National Emmy for "exceptional merit in nonfiction filmmaking;" the duPont Columbia Broadcast Journalism award[9] (TV's Pulitzer Prize); the Distinguished Science Reporting Award from AAAS (American Academy for Advancement of Science); Peabody Awards; many US and international film festival awards; critical acclaim in The New York Times and other major papers. Richter's many documentaries on environmental subjects earned him a Global 500 Award[10] from the United Nations Environment Programme—the only independent producer in the world to receive this honor.

He served on the Motion Picture Academy’s Documentary Branch Executive Committee as well as the Academy's New York Events Committee. He is a member of the Writers Guild, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Richter was president of the nationwide 5,000-member Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers for 14 years. While in that volunteer office he headed a committee that lobbied Congress to create ITVS, the Independent Television Service, the largest funder of independent productions in the U.S. He also was a New York representative on the International Documentary Association board for seven years.

He has been an International and National Emmy judge, and a juror at U.S. and foreign film festivals. He was a delegate to the Leningrad International Documentary Film Festival, a USIA lecturer in former Yugoslavia and West Germany, and has spoken at more than 50 American colleges and universities.

Selected filmographyEdit

  • HHH: What Manner of Man (1968)
  • Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist (1977)
  • Vietnam: An American Journey (1979)
  • For Export Only: Pesticides (1980)
  • For Export Only: Pharmaceuticals (1980)
  • Gods of Metal (1982)
  • In Our Hands (1984)
  • Hungry for Profit (1985)
  • Who Shot President Kennedy? (1989)
  • Can Tropical Rainforests Be Saved? (1991)
  • The Money Lenders (1991)
  • School of the Americas Assassins (1994)
  • Ben Spock, Baby Doctor (1996)
  • Father Roy: Inside the School of Assassins (1997)


  1. ^ a b "The 55th Academy Awards (1983) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "The 67th Academy Awards (1995) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  3. ^ "Robert Richter '50 to Screen "In Our Hands" | Occidental College | The Liberal Arts College in Los Angeles". Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "Reed Magazine: Alumni Profiles". Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Times, Special To The New York (May 31, 1981). "COLLEGE APOLOGIZES TO PROFESSOR FOR 1954 DISMISSAL". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  6. ^ ""Camermen Invade to Present Fairview on Television", The Fair View vol. III, No. 7. October 1958 | OSH Museum". Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Bulldozed America, September 1, 1965, retrieved September 3, 2015
  8. ^, Sadhana -. "Richter Videos". Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "All duPont-Columbia Award Winners - Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism". Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  10. ^ "Robert Richter". Retrieved September 3, 2015.

External linksEdit