James Ashmore Creelman

James Ashmore Creelman (September 21, 1894 – September 18, 1941) was a film writer in Hollywood.[1]

James Ashmore Creelman
King Kong (1933) was written by James Ashmore Creelman
James Ashmore Creelman

(1894-09-21)September 21, 1894
DiedSeptember 18, 1941(1941-09-18) (aged 46)
Cause of deathsuicide by jumping
EducationYale University
Known forThe Last Days of Pompeii (1935)
King Kong (1933)
The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
Dancers in the Dark (1932)
The Untamed Lady (1926)
Parent(s)James Creelman


He was born on September 21, 1894 in Marietta, Ohio. He was the second son of James Creelman, the journalist and Alice Leffingwell Buell. He had a sister, Eileen Creelman, who married Frederick Morgan Davenport Jr., son of New York congressman Frederick Morgan Davenport.

Creelman moved to New York City and then Washington, D.C. where his father worked as a journalist.

He was a graduate of Yale University, where he edited campus humor magazine The Yale Record with Clements Ripley, writer of Jezebel.[2]

Creelman worked for RKO studios from 1929 and contributed to the storyline of many of the studios' early adventure and thriller films including The Untamed Lady, The Most Dangerous Game, King Kong,[3] Dancers in the Dark and The Last Days of Pompeii.[4]

Creelman began working in Hollywood in 1924 and wrote for 30 films before stopping in 1935. He also directed the 1927 film High Hat.

On September 18, 1941, three days before his 47th birthday, Creelman committed suicide by jumping off the roof garden at the top of a building on 325 E. 72nd Street in Manhattan, New York City, New York.[5] He was pronounced dead at Metropolitan Hospital.[1]

Personal life

His paternal grandfather was born to Scots-Irish migrants to Montreal while his paternal grandmother was of Scottish descent. His mother was a native of Marietta, Ohio.


  1. "Playwright Dies In 18-Story Plunge. Body of James Creelman Found in Courtyard of 72d St. Apartment Building". New York Times. September 9, 1941. Retrieved 2015-02-14. James Creelman, playwright, was killed instantly at 1:05 in the morning
  2. Yale Banner and Pot Pourri. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1926. p. 238.
  3. Hall, Mordaunt (March 3, 1933). "Movie Review KING KONG". The New York Times.
  4. Sennwald, Andre (October 17, 1935). "The Last Days of Pompeii (1935) 'The Last Days of Pompeii,' a Historical Fable, With Preston Foster, at the Center Theatre -- 'Shipmates Forever,' at the Strand". The New York Times.
  5. "Screen Director Plunges to Death". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 9 Sep 1941. p. 11. Retrieved 27 December 2016 via Newspapers.com.

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