Rhode Island First Day of Issue Covers
Performing Arts issue - George M. Cohan
Issued on  July 3, 1978 in Providence, RI
Scott #1756 - Designed by Jim Sharpe

Bazaar Cachet

George Michael Cohan was born on July 3, 1878 in Providence, Rhode Island to Jeremiah and Helen Cohan. He was the third of three children, one of whom died in infancy.

Cohan was an American actor, playwright, songwriter and producer of musicals. His first big hit was Little Johnny Jones. Cohan played the lead role as a jockey and wrote two of his biggest hit songs for the show;
I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy and Give my Regards to Broadway. During his career, he wrote and produced 40 plays and was the co-author of another 40. He also wrote over 500 songs.

George began performing at an early age with his parents and his older sister Josephine. He performed in vaudeville and on the legitimate stage. He began writing his own vaudeville skits and songs in 1893 and his first full-length play opened in New York in 1901. George married his first wife, Ethel Levey in 1899 and she became a member of the act.

Among Cohan's many productions were The Governor's Son, Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway, The Talk of New York, Get Rich Quick Wallingford, Broadway Jones, Seven Keys to Baldpate, The Tavern, The Song and Dance Man, and American Born

He composed numerous songs including, You're a Grand Old Flag, Mary's a Grand Old Name, Give My Regards to Broadway and his popular I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy. He also wrote the World War I smash hit Over There for which he was given a special medal by congress in 1940.

Cohan's life has been depicted in film, Yankee Doodle Dandy and on Broadway, George M.

George M. Cohan died on November 5, 1942 in New York, NY.  His autobiography, Twenty Years on Broadway and the Years It Took to Get There contains a description his early career with his family, The Four Cohans.

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