Born: September 26, 1898, in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died: July 11, 1937 in Beverly Hills, California, USA
During his short lifetime George Gershwin achieved a level of musical fame in America shared only by Leonard Bernstein. His extraordinary musical talent and versatility made him one of the most multi-faceted and important American music personalities of the 20th century. He acquired his knowledge of music exclusively through private lessons.
In 1914 he began his career as a professional musician at the music publishing house of Jerome H. Remick in New York. His first big success was the song Swanee. Gershwin’s breakthrough came with Rhapsody in Blue in 1924. He himself played the piano at its premiere performance.
The opera Porgy and Bess debuted in 1935 but did not become a success until after his death. With his orchestra works for jazz, George Gershwin became one of the founders of "symphonic jazz". He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his first musical Of Thee I Sing.