George M. Cohan

cohan1July 3, 1878 – November 5, 1942

George Michael Cohan was – to put it simply (and to steal mercilessly from many before me) – “the man who owned Broadway.” The son of Irish Catholic performers, Cohan grew up on stage as a member of the family vaudeville act, The Four Cohans. At an early age, he began writing his own skits…and then his own songs. Fast forward a few years and little George had over 300 songs to his credit, including classics like “The Yankee Doodle Boy,” “Give My Regards to Broadway” and “Over There.” In addition to being a prolific songwriter and performer (he appeared in more than 30 Broadway shows – most of which he wrote himself,) he was also instrumental in the development of the modern book musical. When all was said and done, George M. Cohan left a footprint on American theatre that will never be wiped out. A musical, George M!, was later written about his life and he was famously portrayed by James Cagney in the biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy in 1942 – the same year he died of abdominal cancer. In 1959, a statue of Cohan was erected in the heart of New York’s Times Square.

Burial

Woodlawn Cemetery – Bronx NY

Specific Location

Butternut Plot, Lot 13841; The Cohan mausoleum is right on Park Ave. at the northern edge of this section. NOTE: Cohan’s business partner, Sam Harris, is buried in the mausoleum next door to the Cohans.

woodlawn_cohan

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