Shana Alexander life and biography

Shana Alexander picture, image, poster

Shana Alexander biography

Date of birth : 1925-10-06
Date of death : 2005-06-23
Birthplace : Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-05-11
Credited as : Journalist, Life magazine, Newsweek, McCall's

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Shana Alexander was an American journalist, born Shana Ager in Manhattan on Oct., 6, 1925.

Although she became the first woman staff writer and columnist for Life magazine, she was best known for her participation in the "Point-Counterpoint" debate segments of 60 Minutes with conservative James J. Kilpatrick. She was a daughter of Tin Pan Alley composer Milton Ager, who composed the song "Happy Days Are Here Again," and his wife, columnist Cecelia Ager.

Life and career:

She wrote and read radio and television commentaries, and is probably best known for offering the liberal perspective in brief debates at the end of every episode of 60 Minutes during the late 1970s, opposite the conservative viewpoints of James J. Kilpatrick.

Her non-fiction includes Anyone's Daughter about Patty Hearst, The Pizza Connection about Mafia connections to illegal drugs, and Very Much a Lady and The Nutcracker about, respectively, murderers Jean Harris and Frances Schreuder. The Nutcracker was made into a miniseries in 1987, starring Lee Remick and Inga Swenson.

An article she wrote for Life detailed the true (and then-startling but now-cliché) story of a suicide hotline worker trying to keep a depressed caller on the line so the call could be traced and her life saved. The article was expanded to movie length in 1965 as The Slender Thread, starring Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft.

Alexander's father, Milton Ager, wrote a few ditties that are still remembered to this day, including "Ain't She Sweet", "Nobody's Baby", and "Happy Days Are Here Again." Her mother, Cecilia Ager, was a star reporter and film critic for Variety.

Author of books:

The Feminine Eye (1970)
Shana Alexander's State-by-State Guide to Women's Legal Rights (1975)
Talking Woman (1976)
Anyone's Daughter: The Times and Trials of Patty Hearst (1979)
Very Much a Lady: The Untold Story of Jean Harris and Dr. Herman Tarnower (1983)
Nutcracker: Money, Madness and Murder: A Family Album (1985, true crime)
The Pizza Connection: Lawyers, Money, Drugs, Mafia (1988)
When She Was Bad: The Story of Bess, Hortense, Sukhreet and Nancy (1990)
Happy Days: My Mother, My Father, my Sister & Me (1995, memoir)
Astonishing Elephant (2000)

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