Richard Rodgers is an American composer, screenwriter and producer born June 28, 1902 in New York, and died December 30, 1979 in New York (United States). He has written more than 900 songs and 43 Broadway musicals. He has also composed music for film and television. He is best known for his collaboration with lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music until today.
Rodgers was the first person to win the most prestigious awards in television, recording, film and Broadway: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. He also won the Pulitzer Prize.
Born into a prosperous Jewish family of German origin in Arverne, Queens, New York, Rodgers is the son of Mamie (Levy) and Dr. William Abrahams Rodgers, a prominent physician. Richard began playing the piano at the age of six. He is a graduate of Townsend Harris Hall and DeWitt Clinton High School. He first went to Wigwam Camp in Waterford, Maine, where he composed some of his first songs.
Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, and Oscar Hammerstein II all attended Columbia University. At Columbia, Rodgers joined the Pi Lambda Phi International Fraternity Inc. (ΠΛΦ or Pilam) student fraternity. In 1921, he continued his studies at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Juilliard School). Rodgers is influenced by composers such as Victor Herbert and Jerome Kern, as well as operettas his parents took him to Broadway as a child.