Jerome Kern - pianist, composer (1885 - 1945)
A colossus of the American Musical Theater, Jerome Kern was born in New York City on Jan. 27, 1885. His first music teacher was his pianist-mother. He later studied at the New York College of Music as well as in Europe.
After working in the London theater, Kern returned to America, where the only work he could find was as a song plugger and pianist with a music publishing company. From 1905 to 1908 he was associated with a music company, rising to the vice presidency. He married Eva Leale in 1910, and they had a daughter. His first published score was an operetta, The Red Petticoat (1912).