Richard Brooks (May 18, 1912 – March 11, 1992) was an American screenwriter, director, novelist and occasional producer.
Brooks was born Ruben Sax to Russian Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from West Philadelphia High School, and later Temple University. He was a sports reporter at several newspapers (the Atlantic City Press Union, the Philadelphia Record and the New York World-Telegram), then moved into radio at WNEW in New York. He served at the NBC network as a staff writer in the 1930s before trying his hand at directing for the stage at the Mill Pond Theatre in New York. He then spent several years in Hollywood as a staff writer for low-budget pictures and serials before serving in the U.S. Marines during World War II.
His second published novel was Splinters in 1941, but his 1945 novel, The Brick Foxhole, proved a larger success - it is the story of a group of Marines who pick up and then murder a homosexual man, and the novel is a stinging indictment of intolerance. The book was made into a movie in 1947 as Crossfire, though the intolerance was switched from homophobia to anti-Semitism to please studio executives and 1940s audiences (Brooks received credit for the book on which the movie is based, but was contractually barred from actually working on the screenplay).