Gershwin, George [Gershvin, Jacob ]
- Richard Crawford
- and Wayne J. Schneider
[Gershvin, Jacob ]
(b Brooklyn, NY, Sept 26, 1898; d Hollywood, CA, July 11, 1937). American composer, pianist, and conductor. He began his career as a song plugger in New York’s Tin Pan Alley; by the time he was 20 he had established himself as a composer of Broadway shows, and by age 30 he was America’s most famous and widely accepted composer of concert music as well as a leading songwriter.
Gershwin’s parents, Moshe (Morris) Gershovitz and Rose Bruskin, emigrated from the area of St. Petersburg, Russia, to the United States in the 1890s and settled in New York, where they met and married in 1895. Living mostly on New York’s Lower East Side, the family had by 1906 added three boys and a girl to its ranks. All six remained under one roof until long after the offspring reached adulthood. Morris’s entrepreneurial streak brought his family relative comfort through the century’s early years. The eldest son Ira, who wrote the lyrics to many of George’s songs, calculated that by ...