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Tom Lehrer

Mathematician / Humorist

Born: 9 April 1928
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as: Composer of the satirical tune "The Vatican Rag"
Tom Lehrer began recording parodies and satirical songs during his years as a student at Harvard. In the 1950s and 1960s he developed parallel careers as a professor of mathematics and as the writer and performer of cheerfully satirical songs about politics and society. Some of his more famous tunes included "Fight Fiercely, Harvard," "The Old Dope Peddler," "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," the anti-nuclear-bomb ditty "Who's Next?" and the rather controversial "The Vatican Rag." His albums included An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer and That Was the Year That Was. In 1980 his music was revived in the stage show Tomfoolery. Lehrer stopped performing publicly in the mid-1960s and spent many years as a professor of mathematics at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Extra credit: Lehrer got his B.A. from Harvard at the age of 18... His songs have often been featured on the radio show of Dr. Demento.

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More on Tom Lehrer from Infoplease:

  • Tom Lehrer - Biography of Tom Lehrer, Composer of the satirical tune "The Vatican Rag"
  • Dr. Demento - Biography of Dr. Demento, The veteran radio host who plays wacky novelty songs
  • Selected Biographies: L - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters
  • copious free time - copious free time: n. [Apple; orig. fr. the intro to Tom Lehrer's song It Makes A Fellow Proud ...
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