Attended prep school, which served as basis later for his School Ties (1992) screenplay; also attended University of Pennsylvania.
Father was an advertising executive, mother a housewife.
Worked as copywriter and/or producer of over 100 TV commercials, 1969-1976. Children: Olivia, Sarina and Elliot.
Producer Dick Wolf is old friends with producer Tom Fontana. They often use actors from each other's TV series, usually resulting in the actors working on two shows at once. Examples are J.K. Simmons on "Law & Order" (1990) and "Oz" (1997), Christopher Meloni and Dean Winters on "Oz" (1997) and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999) and Kathryn Erbe on "Oz" (1997) and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (2001). Richard Belzer famously leaped from producers' show to show as "Detective John Munch".
Was an altar boy at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York back when Cardinal Spellman was Archbishop.
Is a close friend of famous crime novelist James Ellroy. Wolf even hired Ellroy's best friend, LAPD Homicide Detective William Stoner, as a technical advisor on his TV show "Dragnet" (2003).
Ranked #50 in the Power Rankings and #12 in the Money Rankings on Forbes' 2006 Celebrity 100 list, with $70 million in earnings, primarily from the syndication of the various "Law & Order" shows.
Was a member of Zeta Psi fraternity while a student at the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1995, was presented with the Governors Award by the New York chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for being "a creative force in television for 25+ years".
Has four children in all, three with his wife Christine Marburg, Elliot, Olivia and Serena, and one with Noelle Lippman, a newborn in 2007.
Claims the scariest movie he has ever seen is Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965).
Classmate of George W. Bush at Phillips Academy, Andover (Class of '64). Named to Andover's list of notable alumni.
(talking to critics about his 'Law and Order' franchise) "You guys don't report the financial aspects of how successful the brand is. The only reason the brand is that successful -- it's show business. No show, no business. You've got an actress sitting up here (Mariska Hargitay) who has received two consecutive Emmy nominations for a show ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") that everybody would describe as mature. I didn't see that much fuss made about it. You read about who's hot, who's not. These shows are never mentioned. We're not looking to be the hot show. That's not what the 'Law & Order' brand is about. It's about longevity and about repeatability and about staying on the air and being a profit center for NBC for years to come."
Desperate Housewives is a cultural phenomenon. But, in my mind, it's a sprinter. These shows (the Law & Order shows) are marathon runners. These shows are designed to run for unreasonable periods of time.
If you're going to the theater and the actor does not have a 'Law & Order' credit on the Playbill, it means he's just got off the bus [to New York], or is really a bad actor.
I've never understood the obsession with younger writers and dramas. Comedies I understand, but how do you write drama at 23; you haven't experienced anything. You know about 23-year-olds. It's kind of hard to write about 60 year old EADAs [Executive Assistant District Attorneys]. Only a couple of us are 60 years old so far, but there are not many 23-year-olds who can write about life-changing situations unless it's medical. That sounds weird, but there's not the mileage on the odometer to get under the surface. There are exceptions that prove the rule-Dickens wasn't bad at 23.