- Category : 1951-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 1/4 - Investigating / Opportunist
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 4
American political journalist turned screenwriter and producer, Lawrence O’Donnell has written and produced many episodes of the hit series, "West Wing" and, in 2003, launched another political series, "Mr. Sterling," for which he is writer and executive producer.
The youngest boy in a family of four brothers and a sister who grew up in Dorchester, he is a self-described street kid, a renegade, who shaved his head in the 60s and 70s. Still, he says, he refused to smoke, drink, or do drugs.
The first in his family to go to Harvard, he graduated in 1976 and sublet a New York apartment from Senator Patrick Moynihan. He subsequently became Moynihan’s campaign communications director in a senatorial race that Moynihan won with 68 percent of the vote. Moynihan offered O’Donnell a job as senior advisor, but O’Donnell, saying he wanted no part of a white-collar job or of a political career, couldn’t refuse the opportunity to work with the cerebral and colorful senator, and moved to Washington where he was promoted to chief of staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
When, in 1993, Moynihan landed a seat on the prestigious Senate Committee on Finance, O’Donnell was the senator’s chief of staff. But he was a controversial figure, an outsider, who was called an "irreverent, foul-mouthed, Harley-riding street rat." O’Donnell turned his knowledge of Washington to journalism and worked as a free-lance political writer and TV talking head.
O’Donnell’s father is a police officer who became a trial lawyer and all his siblings are lawyers as well. Lawrence chronicled his lawyer-family’s investigation of the 1975 murder of an African-American man who was gunned down mistakenly by a pair of Irish-American police officers. The resulting book, "Deadly Force" was turned into a 1986 TV movie.