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Ira Gershwin

Ira Gershwin

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Also Known As: Arthur Francis, Israel Gershvin Died: August 17, 1983
Born: December 6, 1896 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: lyricist, composer, critic

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One-half of the most popular American songwriting team of the 20th century, lyricist Ira Gershwin penned dozens of timeless classics alongside his brother, composer George Gershwin, and other giants of the music industry. Though lyrics were not the focus of his early writing aspirations, the shy, retiring Ira eventually teamed with his younger sibling on Broadway, writing music for such early productions as "Ladies First" and "Lady, Be Good!" A string of Broadway successes followed throughout the 1920s and 1930s, among them the Fred and Adele Astaire starrer "Funny Face," the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Of Thee I Sing," and the classic American opera "Porgy and Bess." Seemingly overnight, songs like "Fascinating Rhythm," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" became part of the American musical vernacular. As shattering as his brother's sudden death in 1937 was for Gershwin, he eventually returned to work with several other composers on theater and film projects that included the Kurt Weill Broadway musical "Lady in the Dark," the Gene Kelly/Rita Hayworth romance "Cover Girl" (1944), and the heartrending lyrics to the song "The Man that Got Away" for the Judy Garland melodrama "A...

One-half of the most popular American songwriting team of the 20th century, lyricist Ira Gershwin penned dozens of timeless classics alongside his brother, composer George Gershwin, and other giants of the music industry. Though lyrics were not the focus of his early writing aspirations, the shy, retiring Ira eventually teamed with his younger sibling on Broadway, writing music for such early productions as "Ladies First" and "Lady, Be Good!" A string of Broadway successes followed throughout the 1920s and 1930s, among them the Fred and Adele Astaire starrer "Funny Face," the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Of Thee I Sing," and the classic American opera "Porgy and Bess." Seemingly overnight, songs like "Fascinating Rhythm," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" became part of the American musical vernacular. As shattering as his brother's sudden death in 1937 was for Gershwin, he eventually returned to work with several other composers on theater and film projects that included the Kurt Weill Broadway musical "Lady in the Dark," the Gene Kelly/Rita Hayworth romance "Cover Girl" (1944), and the heartrending lyrics to the song "The Man that Got Away" for the Judy Garland melodrama "A Star Is Born" (1954). Years after his retirement and eventual passing, Gershwin and his brother's work still managed to generate big box office with Broadway hits like "My One and Only" and "Crazy for You." Without a doubt, Ira Gershwin would be remembered as one of the defining voices of the American musical.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

1919:
First lyrics for brother George with "The Real American Folk Song"
1920:
First published lyrics with "Waiting for the Sun to Come Out"

Education

Townsend Harris Hall High School: New York , New York -
City College of New York: New York , New York -
Columbia University: New York , New York -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Leonore Gershwin. Married September 14, 1926; died on August 20, 1991 in Beverly Hills at age the of 90; founded Roxbury Recordings in 1989 to record Gershwin musicals.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Morris Gershovitz. Changed family name first to Gershvin and later Gershwin; married in 1895; held a variety occupations.
mother:
Rose Gershovitz. Married in 1895.
brother:
George Gershwin. Composer. Born in 1898; died in 1937; frequently collaborator with Ira.
brother:
Arthur Gershwin. Composer. Born on March 14, 1900; died in 1981.
sister:
Frances Gershwin. Singer. Born on December 6, 1906; died on January 18, 1999 at age 92.
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