Ira Gershwin Biography

Also Credited As:
  • Arthur Francis

  • Ira Gershwin, the first songwriter to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, was born in New York City on December 6, 1896. In 1917 The Evening Sun published his first song ("You May Throw All The Rice You Desire But Please Friends, Throw No Shoes"). Four years later Ira enjoyed his first major stage success, Two Little Girls in Blue, written with another Broadway newcomer, Vincent Youmans. In 1924 Ira and his brother, George, created the smash hit Lady Be Good and went on to continue their remarkable collaboration through a dozen major stage scores, producing such standards as "Fascinating Rhythm," "The Man I Love," "S' Wonderful," "Embraceable You," "I Got Rhythm," "But Not For Me" and others far too numerous to mention. During his long career, Ira also enjoyed productive collaborations with such songwriters as Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Kurt Weill, Burton Lane and Jerome Kern, with whom he created his greatest song hit of any one year, "Long Ago And Far Away." Ira Gershwin died on August 17, 1983, in Beverly Hills, California.