George M. Cohan Biography
(Entertainer, Playwright and Composer Who is Considered to be ‘The Father of American Musical Comedy’)
Birthday: July 3, 1878 (Cancer)
Born In: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
George M. Cohan was an American entertainer, songwriter, actor, playwright, dancer and producer considered to be ‘the father of American Musical Comedy’. Having been born into a family of entertainers, George began his career early on—he was playing the violin and performing as a dancer by the time he was eight. He, along with his parents and sister formed the family vaudeville act known as "The Four Cohans." As a child, he featured in many acts and plays, and began to write his own skits and songs in his teens. Soon he was writing, directing and producing his own Broadway musicals. He became one of the leading popular songwriters of his day known for his witty lyrics and catchy melodies. Young George was known to be highly temperamental though he matured with age. He met the Broadway producer Sam Harris and the two formed a successful partnership that would continue for many years, and the first play they put together, ‘Little Johnny Jones’ became one of Broadway’s greatest hits. His plays were characterized by action and speed and he was credited for energizing the American stage. Cohan was epitomized as “the greatest single figure the American theatre ever produced—as a player, playwright, actor, composer and producer."