Elie Wiesel: First Person Singular Elie Wiesel: First Person Singular Elie Wiesel: First Person Singular
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First Person Singular

Bestowing the mantel of greatness upon the living often results in more second guessing than when such honor is accorded those whose lives and work have been completed.

But critics and viewers alike have hailed the choice of subjects made thus far by Lives and Legacies Films for its series of First Person Singular PBS specials. Architect I. M. Pei, historian John Hope Franklin, and now author and human rights activist Elie Wiesel are certain to be regarded by future generations as individuals whose lives and achievements have added distinction to our time.

As future productions follow, Lives and Legacies' staff hopes to provide films for present and future audiences that have not been available to our own generation. We can enjoy biographical feature or documentary films on giants of the past — Darwin, Freud, Curie, Franklin, Einstein — but cannot experience their personal narratives, hear their voices, or experience the presence of those whose lives have changed our own.

We are trying to provide immediate, person to person contact between our distinguished subjects and their audiences, without the barrier of an on-screen interviewer. In these "stimulated monologues", our subjects engage the interested viewer's attention as can no scripted biography.

However, the problem confronting the film maker is, as always, the difficulty of selecting material from the many hours of our subjects' compelling narrative.

Our solution has been is to place all of our original film and video interviews, those used in the broadcast and video/DVD versions as well as those not used, in the Public Broadcasting Archive of the University of Maryland's Hornbake Library, there to be expertly preserved and made accessible to scholars and film makers of the future.

By using technology not available in the past, we hope we can ensure that future generations will have access to a treasure of wisdom, without intermediaries, provided by some of the most distinguished people of our time.

Lives and Legacies Films is a non-profit corporation under section 501 (c)(3) of the Tax Code of the United States. It was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1994, and locates its offices in McLean, Va., close to Washington, DC.

Officers and Members of the Board of Directors

  • Stanley A. Zuckerman (Chairman) is a former newspaperman and a retired Career Minister of the U. S. Foreign Service.

  • Dr. D. Timothy White (President) is a professional film maker and television news anchorman and program host.

  • Dr. Wilton S. Dillon is Emeritus Senior Research Scholar at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

  • Ambassador John Ferch is the former Director of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC, Ambassador to Honduras and Principal Officer at the US Liaison Office in Havana, Cuba.

  • Thomas P. Hartnett is an Attorney with offices in Washington, DC, New York City and Fairfax, Virginia.

  • Margitta Muhlenberg is a Certified Public Accountant with a special interest in non-profit organizations.

  • John Rouse is the vice-chairman of the Foreign Service Grievance Board at the Department of State. His Foreign Service career includes assignments as Deputy Chief of Mission in Canada and The Netherlands.

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