Biographical Information:

Dates: 1882-1961
Dates in Ridgefield:

biographer, fiction writer

Bercovici was born in Romania and went to university in Paris, where he met his wife. Together they moved to the Lower East Side in Manhatten. He worked in sweatshops, and later became a prolific author and contributor to Harper’s Magazine. In 1926, one of his books, The Volga Boatman, was made into a film, directed by Cecil B. DeMille.. In 1942 Bercovici sued Charlie Chaplin for plagiarism, claiming that Chaplin’s film, “The Great Dictator,” was based on an idea Bercovici had given to him orally. Chaplin, at a press conference, admitted that Bercovici had indeed given him the idea. Bercovici sued both Chaplin and United Artists; United settled the case and Bercovici was awarded $90,000.

Titles (partial):
Around the World in New York, 1924
The Volga Boatman, 1926
The Story of the Gypsies, 1928
Nights Abroad, 1928
Savage Prodigal, 1948

–Sources: Jack Sanders, Notable Ridgefielders; www.tcm.com

Check the library catalog for titles by this author.