American film editor and director A. Aram Avakian graduated from Yale, served in the Navy, and attended the Sorbonne in Paris before returning to New York to become a still photographer in the early 1950s. In 1955, he began working for CBS television and became editor of Edward R. Murrow's famous See It Now television series. In 1959, he won acclaim for his creative work on Jazz on a Summer's Day, a chronicle of the Newport Jazz Festival, and this led him to begin editing feature films. In the 1960s, he turned to directing and is most famous for his adaptation of John Barth's disturbing novel End of the Road. Avakian's version, released in 1970, contained a horrific depiction of a botched abortion and received an X-rating. He continued making films until the mid-1970s. In 1983, he took over the film program and taught filmmaking and screenwriting at the State University College at Purchase, New York. He remained there until he died of heart failure in 1987.