Nora Ephron: reporter, screen writer, film director

By Diana Abou-Saleh

Nora Ephron was born May 19, 1941, in New York. She was the first of four daughters of acclaimed screenplay writers Henry and Phoebe Ephron. Ehpron grew up in Los Angeles due to her parents’ career in the film industry. When she graduated from high school, she went on to Wellesley College in Massachusetts to study journalism. After graduating from Wellesley in 1962, she became a reporter for the New York Post.

Soon, Ephron became one of the country’s best-known journalists with her work in Esquire, New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine. In the early 1970s and ‘80s, her essays started to grab attention when she began to shift toward the film industry. Her essays often depicted topics such as sex, food and life in New York City. Among the best-selling collections of her essays are: “Crazy Salad” and “Scribble, Scribble.” “Heartburn,” her novel, is also a bestseller and the story of the breakup of her marriage.
Still, Ephron is known best for her successful romantic comedies, such as “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail,” the last two starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. She first wrote the screenplay for the romantic comedy classic “When Harry Met Sally,” directed by Rob Reiner. Later she wrote and directed “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail;” both films were well-liked among audiences.

In her more contemporary work, the film “Julie and Julia,” Ephron portrays one of her favorite topics: food. Also, in addition to her books, plays and movies, Ephron frequently contributed to The Huffington Post by keeping a blog.

Before her current marriage to writer Nicholas Pileggi, she was married to writer Dan Greenburg and later to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein. Ephron died on June 26, 2012.