Alan Jay Lerner

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A towering figure of American musical theater who wrote MY FAIR LADY among others.
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American pop lyricist and librettist from the 1940s through the 1960s, Alan Jay Lerner had many movie musical and Broadway successes with songwriting partner Frederick Loewe, including their first hit, Brigadoon, and their biggest hit, My Fair Lady. Lerner was born in N.Y.C. in 1918 into a wealthy family; his father was the founder of Lerner's, the women's clothing chain. Alan Jay Lerner went on to study at Juilliard, in England and, finally, at Harvard, where he wrote for college productions. After graduating, Lerner wrote radio scripts from 1940-1942, but already had ambitions for Broadway by the time he met composer Frederick Loewe. Thus began the successful duo of Lerner & Loewe, whose first songs appeared in the 1943 stage production What's Up? The duo had their first success four years later with the Broadway smash Brigadoon. Other stage and movie successes followed, such as Paint Your Wagon (1951), 1958's Gigi (an Academy Award-winning score), and Camelot (1960), but no success was bigger for the duo than 1956's My Fair Lady, which had a record-breaking run of over 2,500 performances. In 1961, Loewe suffered a heart attack and retired and Lerner teamed up with Richard Rodgers. Lerner had teamed up with another composer once before, in 1948, with Kurt Weill for the successful stage production Love Life. Some of Lerner's best-known songs include "Almost Like Being in Love" (1947), "I Could Have Danced All Night," "On the Street Where You Live" (1956), "If Ever I Would Leave You" (1960), and "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever."