Aaron Sorkin Wiki: 5 Facts To Know About ‘The West Wing’ Screenwriter

Aaron Sorkin is one of the most talented screenwriters of all time. Here are some facts about his work and personal life like net worth.

Aaron Sorkin -Screenwriter

Aaron Sorkin is one of the most well-known screenwriters. He is known for West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and A Few Good Men. He has one sister, Deborah Sorkin; his exes include Megan Gallagher, Kristin Chenoweth, Julia Bingham. He has one daughter Roxy Sorkin.

Screenwriter Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin began his career writing plays. The first play that he was truly recognized for was A Few Good Men. This was in 1989. A Few Good Men is widely known for its film adaptation. In fact three years after Aaron Sorkin sold the rights it was turned into a film that was Oscar-nominated. Though he sold the rights before the show even premiered this still launched his career into stardom. Everyone knew he was the author of the work. He hopped into television. He and Thomas Schlame came together to collaborate on a show called Sports Night. Though Sports Night was short-lived, he jumped from that right to The West Wing. After the critically acclaimed run, he moved on to Studio 60. After a year on Studio 60, he made his way back to the silver screen with the creation of the script for Charlie Wilsons War starring Tom Hanks and The Social Network starring Jessie Eisenberg.

The plot for A Few Good Men was based on a story Aaron Sorkin’s sister told him. It was a real incident she saw. His sister Deborah is a Navy JAG lawyer. He rewrote Steven Spielberg’s drama Schindler’s List for no credit. The idea for West Wing came from leftover bits of Aaron Sorkin’s script for The American President. Aaron Sorkin originally wanted to be an actor until he found that his true calling was writing. He has inserted himself in several of his works in the background.


Sports Night (1998–2000)

Sports Night was the first tv show Aaron Sorkin worked on. It ran from 1998 to 2000. The show was about what happened behind the scenes of a sports news show. He came up with the idea while he was writing the script for The American President. HIs first attempt was to turn the idea into a film but eventually landed on a tv show. ABC cancelled the show after two seasons even though it was critically acclaimed. Sorkin shopped the show to other channels, but no one wanted to work with him on it since everyone already knew he was preoccupied with The West Wing.

The West Wing (1999–2006)

The West Wing is one of the most renowned tv shows, but it wasn’t always an easy run. The show revolved around the presidency, a democratic presidency and what happened behind the scenes. It was groundbreaking clever and brilliant. Aaron Sorkin wrote almost all of the dialogue alone and was very meticulous about it.

The West Wing was picked up Because Of The Internet according to the word of Aaron Sorkin himself. “The pilot did not test off the charts with focus groups. It tested fine, but it wasn’t forcing NBC to put it on the air. Where it tested very high was in four categories that they invented for this show: Households making over $75,000 a year; households where someone has three years of college; people who subscribe to the New York Times; and the final category – and this was in 1999 – was people with home internet access. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was a big deal then. In 1999 it was the height of the dot-com boom, so people with home internet access were a valuable demographic to reach. That first season more than half the ad buys were dot com. They needed some place to advertise. It was those four categories that got us on the air.” – Aaron Sorkin

The attention to detail even in the pilot was what created a solid base for the growth of the show and insane interest in the words and plot. For the pilot Aaron Sorkin wanted the set to look as realistic as possible, so he had everyone in the cast on set whether they had lines or not. They sat at their desks on set, and the offices looked super realistic. He wanted the stars to be background actors too to show that they were in a place that was realistic.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006–2007)

In 2003, Sorkin announced that he was working on something new. A tv show based on the behind the scenes of a sketch comedy show. There was a bidding war over the final pilot script and was eventually picked up by NBC.
It aired in 2006 directed and produced by Tommy Schlamme. Despite how loved the show first was, its ratings dropped, and it only lasted one season.

The Newsroom (2012-2014)

The next show Aaron Sorkin worked on was The Newsroom. There is a definite theme with his ideas. He likes to take regular show ideas or jobs and create shows that show behind the scenes. The Newsroom is a political drama again created and writing almost completely by Sorkin. It ran for three seasons. It showed the behind the scenes events of the fictional news channel Atlantis Cable News. It took a lot of the drama and current events that the West Wing fed off of and put them in a different light and projected them through a totally different medium and perspective. It was picked up by HBO and starred Jeff Daniels, Will McAvoy, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, and Sam Waterston.

Aaron Sorkin and his Movies

Aaron Sorkin’s sister was heading to Guantanamo Bay when she talked to Sorkin about her mission. She was going to defend some Marines that almost killed one of their teammates during a hazing that was ordered by a higher up officer. This gave him the story for A Few Good Men which he concocted the details while he was bartending at the Palace Theatre. He used cocktail napkins to write his notes then he would go home and compile them.

After The West Wing, he made his way back to movies; he wrote Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network, Moneyball, Steve Jobs, and most recently Molly’s Game. He chose to return to film when Universal wanted him to adapt George Crile’s book Charlie Wilson’s War into a movie script. This was for Tom Hank’s production company Playtone. Sony then recruited him via Scott Rudin to write the story of how Facebook was created. It was based on the book titled Accidental Billionaires. Eventually, the movie was titled The Social Network, and he won a Golden Globe, Bafta and Oscar for it. Aaron Sorkin recently made his directorial debut for the film Molly’s Game. He wrote the script and the film were released in December 2017. Molly’s Game was nominated for the Oscar 2018.

Aaron Sorkin Net Worth

After knowing about all of the projects Aaron Sorkin has created and worked on its no surprise that his net worth is extremely high. Aaron Sorkin’s net worth is a solid $80 million. His influence in the theater, performing industry began when he was very young which contributed to the time he had learning to fine tune his craft leading to the high net worth.


2001, Emmy — Outstanding Drama Series
2003, Emmy — Outstanding Drama Series
2000, Emmy — Outstanding Drama Series
2002, Emmy — Outstanding Drama Series
2000, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
2002, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Program
2011, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay
2010, Oscar — Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
2011, Writers Guild Awards — Adapted Screenplay
2011, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay
2016, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
2012, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay
2017, Writers Guild Awards — The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement
(Oscar 2018 pending)