Cole PorterComposer / Songwriter
Born: 9 June 1891
Died: 15 October 1964
Birthplace: Peru, Indiana
Best known as: The Broadway master who wrote "Night and Day"
Cole Porter wrote hit Broadway musicals and many 20th-century pop standards, including the songs "You're The Top," "Night and Day" and "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)." Porter was one of the greats of an era that included Iriving Berlin and Richard Rodgers. But Porter was no poor New York immigrant who lived the rags-to-riches dream -- he was the son of prosperous midwesterners, a star pupil at Yale and a privileged expatriate who lived the gay life in Europe while writing hit Broadway musicals. His first popular success came in 1929, with Fifty Million Frenchman. Between the 1930s and 1950s he became one of Broadway's biggest stars, writing music and lyrics for Anything Goes (1934), Kiss Me Kate (1948) and Can Can (1953), among others. His most famous songs include "I Get A Kick Out of You," "Too Darn Hot," "Begin the Beguine," and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." Since his death his songs have become part of the canon of American pop music, and stories of his private life -- his long "marriage of convenience" to wealthy divorceé Linda Lee Thomas and his well-known homosexual leanings -- have contributed to a continued interest in his career.
Extra credit: Porter's legs were crushed by a horse in a riding accident in 1937. He named his injured legs "Josephine" (left) and "Geraldine" (right), and for the rest of his life got around with canes and braces. His right leg, Geraldine, was amputated in 1958... Porter was portrayed by Cary Grant in the fictionalized film version of his life, Night and Day (1946)... Porter graduated from Yale in 1913. According to a 1992 article in The New York Times, he wrote "two football songs, 'Bingo Eli Yale' and 'Bulldog,' which remain popular at Yale today."
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