"Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person."
In a career that spanned more than half a century, Arthur Miller wrote 25 plays -- many almost as highly regarded as "Salesman'' -- as well as screenplays, essays, stories, novels and an autobiography, "Timebends." He received every major award in his field, including three Tony Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, an Emmy Award and a John F. Kennedy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1984. By the end of his life, he had achieved the iconic stature of one whose name lends dignity to the award given.
He also devoted himself tirelessly to human rights causes, becoming, in the eyes of many, the moral conscience of the nation for standing up against McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee. He confounded many who had applauded his stand by continuing to work with actors and others, notably the director Elia Kazan, who had famously cooperated with the committee by naming names. He was, he explained, opposed to blacklisting of all kinds.
As the first international president of the professional writers association PEN, he championed the freedom of dissident writers in Soviet-bloc countries and throughout the world. He campaigned for progressive causes and against all forms of censorship throughout his life and was outspoken in his criticisms of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and of what he considered the Bush administration's abridgements of civil liberties.