top of page

On This Day: July 3rd - George M. Cohan


George M. Cohan
George M. Cohan

On this day in 1878, Player George M. Cohan was born. An entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and theatrical producer, Cohan began his long career as a child in a vaudeville act with his parents and sister.

Beginning with Little Johnny Jones in 1904, he wrote, composed, produced, and appeared in more than three dozen Broadway musicals. Cohan wrote more than 50 shows and published more than 300 songs during his lifetime, including the standards “Over There”, “Give My Regards to Broadway”, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag”. As a composer, he was one of the early members of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He enjoyed remarkable theatrical longevity, appearing in films until the 1930s and continuing to perform as a headline artist until 1940. He died in November, 1942.

Considered the father of American musical comedy, his life and music were depicted in the Oscar-winning film Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and the 1968 musical George M! A statue of Cohan in Times Square commemorates his incomparable contributions to American musical theatre.

Blog Contributor
Katharine Ramsden

Katharine Ramsden is a (semi-retired) former journalist and corporate communications executive. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she is a recently new Player, avid reader and one time a cappella singer.


bottom of page