Drew, Robert Lincoln

Drew, Robert Lincoln, 1924–2014, American documentary filmmaker, b. Toledo, Ohio. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, he worked for Life as a writer and editor. On a Neiman fellowship (1954) from Harvard, he spent a year experimenting with documentary filmmaking, working to develop a dramatic visual narrative that made him a pioneer of cinéma vérité. He formed Drew Associates (1960) to produce documentaries, and with Time, Inc., he developed lightweight cameras and recorders to follow his subjects around, giving the viewer a sense of being there while events took place. Some of his best known documentaries are Primary (1960), about the 1960 Wisconsin presidential contest between John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey; The Chair (1962), an exposé about the death penalty; Crisis (1963), which follows the desegregation of the Univ. of Alabama; and Man Who Dances (1969), about New York City Ballet dancer Edward Villella.

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