Ernest Tidyman was a Cleveland-born American author and screenwriter, best known for his novels featuring the African-American detective John Shaft. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the film version of Shaft with John D.F. Black in 1971.
His screenplay for The French Connection garnered him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as a Golden Globe Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, and an Edgar Award.
He also wrote the screenplay for the 1973 film High Plains Drifter, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Tidyman also wrote the sequel to Shaft, Shaft's Big Score, which appeared in theaters in 1972.
In 1974, he published Dummy, a non-fiction account of the story of Donald Lang, an accused deaf-mute murderer. It was nominated for an Edgar in the Fact Crime category.
He co-wrote A Force of One in 1979, one of Chuck Norris's earlier films.
In 1980, he wrote the teleplay for the TV movie Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, which he also had a hand in producing, which got him an Emmy nomination. For creating the Shaft books, he became one of the few white individuals to win an NAACP Image Award.