Irving Berlin
Date of Birth
May 11, 1888
Birth Place:
Tumen, the Russian Empire


Everyone is fond of quoting Jerome Kern's famous assessment that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He is American music." Remarkably, this tribute was made in the mid-1930s, at a point in time when Berlin had already been writing songs for nearly three decades, and still had three more decades' activity ahead of him. Born in a Russian Jewish ghetto to a cantor and his wife, Berlin was...