Charles Guggenheim, a 1948 graduate of the University of Iowa, entered motion pictures in 1951, producing films for NBC and a children's series for ABC which brought him a Peabody Award. After accepting an appointment for a year as chief producer for the Ford Foundation's experimental adult education project, he headed up a community-operated educational television station in St. Louis before establishing his own film company.
Now considered by critics as probably the most accomplished maker of documentary films in the country, Mr. Guggenheim has won top awards in every major international film competition. His receipt of the Venice Film Festival's eleventh Gold Mercury Award in 1968 for "Monument to the Dream" marked the first time in the festival's long history the award has gone to an American producer.
Mr. Guggenheim, who has received five academy award nominations, won his second Oscar in 1969 for "Robert Kennedy Remembered," a dramatic and moving film which captures the spirit and dedication of the late senator's life. In 1965, Mr. Guggenheim received his first academy award for the film "Nine from Little Rock," which portrayed the Arkansas school integration crisis and the changes wrought in subsequent years.
In recent years, Mr. Guggenheim has turned his direction and talents to automated multimedia production, including the son et lumiere presentation premiered at Ford's Theatre in 1971. The production, with its recorded voices, sound effects, lighting projection, and original music, all computer-controlled, has evoked the same high degree of critical praise common to his documentary productions and his feature length motion pictures.