Herbert Sussan wants to spend the rest of his life fighting against nuclear weapons. He is weak now, having been hospitalized for cancer, heart problems, a growth on his lungs, and other serious ailments. His balding head bears a lump and scar where surgeons removed a blood clot from his brain. His strength is returning quickly, but he still speaks slowly and walks laboriously with a cane. Robust and healthy for the first 60 years of his life, he finds it frustrating to wait for full recovery.
"I don't know how long I have to live," he says, "but I know I want to dedicate my life to removing nuclear weapons from the face of the earth."
Sussan seems an unlikely person to be engaged in an anti-nuclear crusade. During his career as a top television writer, director, and senior producer, he has traveled throughout the world and held major responsibilities with CBS, NBC, and Columbia Pictures. Involved in television from its inception, he was one of the founders of the New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His popular television series, Wide, Wide World, won him an Emmy, one of the many honors that adorn his walls.
But his illustrious career has not dimmed his passion about nuclear weapons. To understand his fervor, we have to go back to World War II, when Sussan, a student in motion picture production at the University of Southern California, was drafted into the U.S. Air Force.