Charles Lederer was a prolific and well-connected American screenwriter and director. He was born into a prominent theatrical family in New York, and after his parents divorced, was raised in California by his aunt, Marion Davies, mistress to newspaper publisher William Randolf Hearst. A child prodigy, he entered college at age 13, but dropped out after a few years to work as a journalist with Hearst's newspapers.
Lederer is recognized for his comic and acerbic adaptations and collaborative screenplays of the 1940s and early 1950s. His screenplays frequently delved into the corrosive influences of wealth and power. His comedy writing was considered among the best of the period, and he, along with writer friends Ben Hecht and Herman Mankiewicz, became major contributors to the film genre known as "screwball comedy".
Among his notable screenplays which he wrote or co-wrote, were The Front Page, the critically acclaimed His Girl Friday, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Spirit of St. Louis, Ocean's 11, and Mutiny on the Bounty.