On This Day

George M. Cohan

Composer, Actor and Singer George M. Cohan

Full Name: George Michael Cohan
Profession: Composer, Actor and Singer

United States of America

Biography: Born into a vaudeville family, George M. Cohan became an industry unto himself. Starting as child and touring as part of The Four Cohans, with his parents and sister, he began selling songs as a teenager. He went on to write, compose songs, produce, sing and dance in more than three dozen Broadway musicals.

Cohan also published more than 300 songs during his lifetime, including the standards "You're a Grand Old Flag"; "The Yankee Doodle Boy"; "Over There";
and "Give My Regards to Broadway".

He was the subject of the 1942 film "Yankee Doodle Dandy", for which James Cagney won an Academy Award, and the 1968 Broadway musical "George M!", starring Joel Grey.

Born: July 3, 1878
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Star Sign: Cancer

Died: November 5, 1942 (aged 64)
Cause of Death: Cancer

Historical Events

  • 1901-02-25 George M. Cohan's 1st Broadway musical "The Governor's Son"opens at the Savoy Theatre, NYC; runs for 32 performances
  • 1904-11-07 George M. Cohan's 1st full-length musical "Little Johnny Jones", featuring the songs "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Give My Regards To Broadway", opens at the Liberty Theatre, NYC; runs for 52 performances be before going on tour
  • 1906-02-12 George M. Cohan's musical "George Washington" premieres in NYC
  • 1907-12-03 George M. Cohan's musical "Talk of the Town" premieres in NYC
  • 1910-09-19 George M. Cohan's musical "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford" premieres in NYC
  • 1913-09-22 George M. Cohan's play "Seven Keys to Baldpate" premieres in NYC
  • 1922-11-13 George M. Cohan's musical "Little Nellie Kelly" premieres in NYC
  • 1928-09-24 George M. Cohan and Ring Lardner's musical play "Elmer the Great" premieres in NYC
  • 1936-06-29 George M. Cohan is the first artist to be presented with a US Congressional Gold Medal, by Franklin D. Roosevelt (for raising war morale)
  • 1942-05-29 "Yankee Doodle Dandy", based on life of George M. Cohan, directed by Michael Curtiz, starring James Cagney and Joan Lesley, premieres in NYC (Academy Awards Best Actor 1943)
  • 1968-04-10 Musical "George M!", based on the life of Broadway star George M. Cohan, opens at Palace Theater NYC for 435 performances