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Howard Dietz

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Ex-husband of Tanis Eva Bulkeley Guinness
Father of Liza Dietz

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Howard Dietz

Howard Dietz was a U.S. songwriter who wrote some 500 songs during his lifetime, many for Broadway.

He is credited with creating the MGM Lion mascot, where he was in charge of publicity for over 30 years. After his retirement in advertising, he teamed up with Arthur Schwartz to create the multi-act Broadway show, The Little Show. In 1972, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And, in 1981, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Howard Dietz (September 8, 1896 – July 30, 1983) was an American publicist, lyricist, and librettist.


Dietz was born in New York City and studied journalism at Columbia University. He also served as publicist/director of advertising for Goldwyn Pictures and later MGM and is often credited with creating Leo the Lion, its lion mascot, and choosing their slogan Ars Gratia Artis. In 1942, he was made MGM's Vice President in Charge of Publicity. He held that position until his retirement in 1957.

He began a long association with composer Arthur Schwartz when they teamed up for the Broadway revue The Little Show in 1929. They would continue to work on and off over the next 30 or so years. Dietz served in the US Navy in World War I and became editor of their magazine, Navy Life. During World War II, he assisted the U.S. Treasury Department with the publicity and promotion of War Bonds and created stage shows for the Coast Guard with composer Vernon Duke. He appears as a recurring character in the mystery novels of John Dandola which involve a sleuthing MGM publicity girl.

Dietz saved copies of every document relating to his career, as well as relating to the publicity campaigns of every MGM film he publicized. After his death, this vast trove of artifacts was donated to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The archive on Dietz constitutes its single largest archive on any person or subject.

In 1972, Howard Dietz was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And, in 1981, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Personal life

Dietz was married three times. He married Elizabeth Bigelow Hall in 1917, and they divorced in 1936. He married Tanis Guinness Montagu on January 25, 1937, and had a daughter; they divorced 14 years later, in 1951. Later that year, he married the costume designer Lucinda Ballard. He died in New York City of Parkinson's disease.

Broadway credits

London credits

Here Comes the Bride — 1930 (music by Schwartz)


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Howard Dietz's Timeline

September 8, 1896
July 30, 1983
Age 86