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George S. Kaufman (George Simon Kaufman) Biography

(1889–1961), (George Simon Kaufman), Merton of the Movies, Beggar on Horseback, June Moon, The Royal Family

American playwright and director, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, educated at the Pennsylvania Law School. Kaufman gave the Broadway musical an air of sophistication and urbanity. He was also an important figure in a distinctively Jewish-American tradition of comic writing. His collaborations include Merton of the Movies (1922) and Beggar on Horseback (1924), with Marc Connelly; June Moon (1929), with Ring Lardner; The Royal Family (1927), Dinner at Eight (1932) and Stage Door (1936), with Edna Ferber; The Cocoanuts (1925), with Irving Berlin; Business is Business (1925), with Dorothy Parker; Strike Up the Band (1932) and Of Thee I Sing (1931, Pulitzer Prize), with Morrie Ryskind and George and Ira Gershwin; You Can't Take it With You (1936, Pulitzer Prize), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1939) and George Washington Slept Here (1940), with Moss Hart; and Park Avenue (1946; lyrics by Ira Gershwin) and Silk Stockings (1955; music by Cole Porter), with Nunnally Johnson. In addition to screenplays for the Marx Brothers' Night at the Opera (1935) and Star Spangled Rhythm (1942), he was the director of the films The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947) and Guys and Dolls (1950).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Tama Janowitz Biography to P(atrick) J(oseph Gregory) Kavanagh Biography