An English novelist, playwright, and humorist, he is best known for his 1908 play, The Melting Pot, which focuses on a Russian-Jewish immigrant family named the Quixanos. He is also known for his 1892 novel, Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People.
At age nine, he began attending the Jews' Free School in Spitalfields (east London), where he later secured a full-time teaching position. His famous play, The Melting Pot, premiered at New York's Comedy Theatre in September of 1909.
He fought for both women's suffrage and Jewish emancipation.
He and his novelist brother, Louis Zangwill, were born in London to Russian-Jewish parents. With his wife, Edith Ayrton, he had a son named Oliver.
He became close friends with the acclaimed Victorian author, H.G. Wells.