Israel Isidore Baline, known as: Irving Berlin (1888 - 1989) MP

‹ Back to Baline surname

Is your surname Baline?

Research the Baline family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Birthplace: near Mogilev, formerly Russian Empire, nowadays Belarus
Death: Died in New York City, New York, United States
Cause of death: natural causes while sleeping
Managed by: Doug Robinson
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Israel Isidore Baline, known as: Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist of Jewish heritage, widely considered one of the greatest American songwriters in history.

His first hit song, "Alexander's Ragtime Band", became world famous. The song sparked an international dance craze in places as far away as Berlin's native Russia, which also "flung itself into the ragtime beat with an abandon bordering on mania." Over the years he was known for writing music and lyrics in the American vernacular: uncomplicated, simple and direct, with his aim being to "reach the heart of the average American" whom he saw as the "real soul of the country."

He wrote hundreds of songs, many becoming major hits, which made him "a legend" before he turned thirty. During his 60-year career he wrote an estimated 1,500 songs, including the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films, with his songs nominated eight times for Academy Awards. Many songs became popular themes and anthems, including "Easter Parade", "White Christmas", "Happy Holiday", "This is the Army, Mr. Jones", and "There's No Business Like Show Business". His Broadway musical and 1942 film, This is the Army, with Ronald Reagan, had Kate Smith singing Berlin's "God Bless America" which was first performed in 1938. Smith still performed the song on her 1960 CBS television series, The Kate Smith Show. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Celine Dion recorded it as a tribute, making it #1 on the charts.

Berlin's songs have reached the top of the charts 25 times and have been extensively re-recorded by numerous singers including Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Waters, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Rosemary Clooney, Cher, Diana Ross, Bing Crosby, Rita Reys, Frankie Laine, Johnnie Ray, Al Jolson, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Doris Day and Ella Fitzgerald. Composer Douglas Moore sets Berlin apart from all other contemporary songwriters, and includes him instead with Stephen Foster, Walt Whitman, and Carl Sandburg, as a "great American minstrel" – someone who has "caught and immortalized in his songs what we say, what we think about, and what we believe." Composer George Gershwin called him "the greatest songwriter that has ever lived", and composer Jerome Kern concluded that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music - he is American music."

--------------------

Irving Berlin was born as Israel Isidore Baline and later changed his name into Irving Berlin.

view all 12

Irving Berlin's Timeline

1888
May 11, 1888
near Mogilev, formerly Russian Empire, nowadays Belarus
1926
November 25, 1926
Age 38
1928
December 1, 1928
Age 40
1989
September 22, 1989
Age 101
New York City, New York, United States
????
????
????