BiographyCincinnati, Ohio, USA
Charles Guggenheim was born into a wealthy Cincinnati family (his father was a furniture manufacturer). While studying agriculture in college in 1943, Guggenheim was drafted into the army. Upon discharge from the service he decided against an agricultural career and moved to New York to pursue a career in broadcasting. He founded Charles Guggenheim and Associates, a film production company. He developed an interest in politics, and soon moved the company from New York to Washington, DC, where he became a media adviser to many Democratic political figures. After Robert F. Read more... the thousands of feet of film he had shot of Kennedy over the years. The resulting film, Robert Kennedy Remembered (1968), won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. Although Guggenheim occasionally ventured into feature film production, he stayed mostly with documentaries, where he received his first Academy Award for 1964's Nine from Little Rock (1964), about the desegregation effort in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. He won two more Oscars for documentary filmmaking, in 1989 and 1994. His last documentary, Berga: Soldiers of Another War (2003), was about a group of 350 American soldiers captured by the Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge who, because they were either Jewish or the Nazis thought they "looked Jewish", were sent to concentration camps instead of POW camps (Guggenheim had been assigned to the unit that was captured, but a severe illness resulted in his being left behind when it was sent to the front lines so he was not with them when the men were captured). He finished the film just a few months before his death in October of 2002.