Dick Wolf Biography

(Creator and Executive Producer of the American TV Series ‘Law & Order’)

Birthday: December 20, 1946 (Sagittarius)

Born In: New York City, New York, United States

Richard Anthony Wolf is an American television writer, director, executive producer and creator, best known for contributing as creator and executive producer of the Law & Order franchise and co-creator and executive producer of the Chicago franchise. He initially served as an advertising copywriter at Benton & Bowles and created commercials for Crest toothpaste, while looking for a career in the film industry. He eventually relocated to Los Angeles and contributed as screenwriter in three films including in the Rob Lowe and Meg Tilly starrer blockbuster hit romantic mystery thriller ‘Masquerade’. He commenced his television career as a staff writer with ‘Hill Street Blues’ and garnered his first Emmy nomination for the episode ‘What Are Friends For?’ from the series. He created the media franchise Law & Order which has included 6 police/courtroom dramas and 4 international spinoffs since 1990. He co-created the Chicago franchise with Derek Haas and Michael Brandt.  It has included four Chicago-based dramas - police, medical, fire and courtroom since 2012. He received several honours and awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Richard Anthony Wolf

Age: 76 Years, 76 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Noelle Lippman, Christine Marburg (m. 1983–2005), Susan Scranton (m. 1970–1983)

father: George Wolf

mother: Marie G. (née Gaffney)

children: Elliot Wolf, Olivia Wolf, Rex Wolf, Serena Wolf

Born Country: United States

Directors T V & Movie Producers

Height: 6'4" (193 cm), 6'4" Males

Ancestry: Irish American

Notable Alumni: Phillips Academy

City: New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: University Of Pennsylvania, Phillips Academy

Childhood & Early Life

Richard Anthony Wolf was born on December 20, 1946, in New York City, US, to advertising executive George Wolf and his homemaker wife Marie G. (née Gaffney). Dick’s father was an American Jew while his mother was a Catholic of Irish descent. He served as an altar boy.

Dick studied at Saint David's School in New York City, New York, and then at The Gunnery in rural Connecticut, before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969. He was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity in the university. He also studied at the Phillips Academy.

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Initially Dick Wolf was inducted at Benton & Bowles as an advertising copywriter. There he created commercials for Procter & Gamble’s Crest toothpaste which included creating the "You can't beat Crest for fighting cavities" slogan. He is also credited for the 1971 National Airlines campaign "I'm Cheryl, fly me".

While Dick Wolf was thriving as a copywriter, his desire to commence a career in films led him to write screenplays as well during this time. He collaborated with the then struggling screenwriter Oliver Stone for a short while. A few years later, he relocated to Los Angeles and worked as screenwriter in three films. Among these, the Bob Swaim directed and Rob Lowe and Meg Tilly starrer 1988 American romantic mystery thriller ‘Masquerade’ became a huge commercial success.

Meanwhile, television career of Dick began as a staff writer with the NBC aired serial police procedural television series ‘Hill Street Blues’. The December 5, 1985, aired episode ‘What Are Friends For?’ from the series, written solely by Dick, garnered him his first Emmy nomination. During this period he got introduced to Tom Fontana, who was working at the same building writing for the series ‘St. Elsewhere’. The two became close friends. Dick later joined team of the NBC aired American crime drama television series ‘Miami Vice’ and contributed as a writer and co-producer for its third and fourth seasons during 1986–1988.

One of the most notable works of Dick Wolf includes creating the American police procedural and legal drama television series ‘Law & Order’ that aired on NBC for twenty seasons from September 13, 1990 to May 24, 2010. The success of the series, where Dick also contributed as an executive producer, paved way for creation of additional shows thus making the Law & Order a franchise. Over the years, the show has won several awards including Emmy Awards. The show’s spin-off ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ (September 20, 1999– present) became the longest-running primetime US live-action series in the history of television in September 2019. Special Victims Unit ranks fourth in terms of all-time episode count for a primetime scripted series.

Dick Wolf is the creator and executive producer of the Law & Order franchise which besides ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ also includes the spinoff television series ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’, ‘Law & Order: Trial by Jury’, ‘Law & Order: UK’, and ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’; the television film ‘Exiled; video games ‘Dead on the Money’, ‘Double or Nothing’, ‘Justice Is Served’, ‘Criminal Intent’ and ‘Legacies’; and several international adaptations.

He was also a creator and executive producer of the American police drama ‘New York Undercover’ which ran on FOX television network for four seasons from September 8, 1994, to February 11, 1999; and the reality TV, non-traditional court show spin-off of the Law & Order franchise ‘Crime & Punishment’ which ran on NBC for three seasons from June 16, 2002�to July 17, 2004.

He was one of the producers of the 2002 short documentary film ‘Twin Towers’ that depicted the story of two brothers, policeman Joseph Vigiano and fireman John Vigiano Jr., who lost their lives while serving their duty during the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. The film bagged an Oscar award for Best Documentary Short in 2003.

Dick Wolf contributed to the campaign of Fred Thompson, his former employee, even before Thompson officially announced of running as a Republican presidential candidate in 2008.Both Dick and his former classmate and the then President of the United States George W. Bush supported Thompson in his bid.

He remained involved with production of the 2009 music documentary film ‘When You're Strange’ that was about the popular American rock band ‘The Doors’. He made the unscripted documentary drama ‘Cold Justice’ for TNT in 2012.

He has penned down four books among which ‘Law & Order: Crime Scenes’ (2003), the non-fiction volume, is a companion to the Law & Order TV series. Dick collaborated with N.Y.P.D. Detective Jeremy Fisk for writing the other three books, all of which are works of fiction, namely ‘The Execution’ (1984), ‘The Intercept’ (2012), and ‘The Ultimatum’ (2015). These three novels are volumes in a thriller series whose central character is Detective Fisk.

Moving on, Dick Wolf bolstered his television career creating and executive producing yet another successful media franchise of American television programs, the Chicago franchise, also referred as One Chicago.The franchise created by Dick along with Derek Haas and Michael Brandt focuses on the professional and personal lives of police officers, fire-fighters, legal professionals and emergency medical personnel who carry out their duties in Chicago. It has so far spawned the series ‘Chicago Fire’ (October 10, 2012– present), ‘Chicago P.D.’ (January 8, 2014– present), ‘Chicago Med’ (November 17, 2015– present) and ‘Chicago Justice’ (March 1, 2017– May 14, 2017).

He created the American crime drama television series ‘FBI’ with Craig Turk in 2018. He also serves as an executive producer of the show that is produced by CBS Studios and Universal Television and premiered on CBS on September 25, 2018.

Over the years, Dick Wolf has received several personal awards and honours including a Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 2003. He was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7040 Hollywood Boulevard on March 29, 2007; and was included into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2013. He is an Honorary Consul general of Monaco as well.

Family & Personal Life

Dick Wolf was married to Susan Scranton from September 5, 1970 to March 16, 1983. His second marriage with Christine Marburg lasted from June 29, 1983 to 2005. Together they have three children, Olivia, Sarina and Elliot. On June 17, 2006, he married Noelle Lippman. The couple has two children, daughter Zoe Amelia born on September 21, 2007 and son Rex born on March 2, 2010. According to sources, Dick and Noelle are presently living separately.​


Primetime Emmy Awards
2007 Outstanding Made for Television Movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)
1997 Outstanding Drama Series Law & Order (1990)
Grammy Awards
2011 Best Long Form Music Video When You're Strange (2009)

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