Leon H. Gildin
Leon H. Gildin is an award-winning author, producer and retired entertainment attorney. While practicing law in New York for more than 40 years, Mr. Gildin served as general counsel to actors, writers and composers, produced on and off-Broadway, and collaborated with authors and musicians in the development of scripts and musical material for the stage.
He also served as both an attorney and principal in the development of optioning of properties for major motion pictures, having worked with 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and individual producers.
During his years of practice, Mr. Gildin was counsel to various New York community organizations, including the Bronx Overall Economic Development Committee, a branch of the Bronx Borough President’s Office. He also served on a number of boards, including Chairman of the Board of the New Federal Theatre, a minority theater company, and of the Great Neck Symphony Society.
His award-winning production credits include Appear and Show Cause, a story inspired by the desegregation of the U.S. Army at which time Mr. Gildin was serving oversees. Appear and Show Cause opened the season at the Cleveland Playhouse in 1982, and he then co-produced the same off-Broadway, winning the Audelco Award.
In addition, he is the executive producer of a number of TV documentaries. This includes The Secret Army, a documentary about the religious conflict in Ireland, purchased by Viacom for international distribution. Also to his credit is Theresienstadt, Gateway to Auschwitz: Recollections from Childhood, which received a Blue Ribbon Award from the American Film and Video Festival.
In 2000, Mr. Gildin authored a non-fiction work entitled You Can’t Do Business (or Most Anything Else) Without Yiddish, published in both hard and soft cover by Hippocrene Books, New York. The book discusses the amount of Yiddish spoken in contemporary English by both Jews and non-Jews alike resulting from Eastern European immigration at the start of the 20th Century.
Mr. Gildin is the 2010 International Book Awards winner in the Historical Fiction category for his book, The Polski Affair, published by Diamond River Books, Canada. According to Professor Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, the Head of Jewish Studies at Arizona State University, “The Polski Affair is a gripping tale that illustrates the moral ambiguity of the Holocaust and the struggle of ordinary people to retain their humanity under extraordinary circumstances.” The Polski Affair was released in Hebrew translation by a major Israeli publisher in 2011.
The award-winning story continues in The Family Affair. This sequel to The Polski Affair tells of the fortuitous discovery of new family members, explores human frailties and reveals secrets that have the power to both unite and divide a family for years to come.
After many years of searching for a publisher, Mr. Gildin has, in the fall of 2015, found a publisher who was enamored of his translations of Yiddish poetry and published THE POEMS OF H. LEIVICK AND OTHERS, a collection of 20th century poems by some of the outstanding poets of the last century. What comes next, remains to be seen.
Mr. Gildin is not quite retired, always in creative pursuit of his next compelling writing project. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife, Gloria.