Alan Jay Lerner

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New York City,
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New York City,

Alan Jay Lerner was an American librettist and lyricist who, in collaboration with Frederick Loewe, created some of the most celebrated and enduring works of musical theatre. He began his musical career by writing lyrics for the Harvard University musical Hasty Pudding. He co-created several successful musicals with Loewe. Their first accomplishment was the musical Brigadoon, which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best musical. Among their popular song compositions are The Patsy titled Life of the Party and What’s Up? My Fair Lady was a collaborative effort that received wide recognition. This musical was performed 2,717 times in the city of New York alone. Alan also collaborated with Kurt Weill and Burton Lane after their breakup. He was recognized with having written almost 500 radio scripts. He wrote the screenplay for the American musical film An American in Paris. The Street Where I Live is a vivid depiction of his and Loewe’s productive work on My Fair Lady, Gigi, and Camelot. In his book The Musical Theatre: A Celebration, he describes the history of theater in an engaging manner, replete with personal tales that reflect his funny personality.

Youth and Early Life

He was born in New York City to rich merchant parents Edith Adelson Lerner and Joseph Lerner. His brother Samuel Alexander Lerner founded and controlled the renowned retailer of women’s apparel and accessories, Lerner Stores.

In England, he attended Bedales School. Later, he enrolled at The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, where he was classmates with John F. Kennedy. Throughout this time, he composed The Choate Marching Song.

During the summers of 1936 and 1937, he attended New York City’s Julliard School of Music. In 1938 and 1939, he composed lyrics for the Harvard musical Hasty Pudding. 1940 was the year he graduated from Harvard.

Alan Lerner’s Career

Between 1940 and 1942, he penned over 500 radio programs. In the early stages of his career, he composed Your Hit Parade, which he continued until 1942 when he met the Austrian composer Frederick Loewe.
In 1942, they performed Life of the Party, a musical collaboration of Barry Connor’s farce The Patsy, for a Detroit Stock Company that ran successfully for nine weeks.

Additionally, the team collaborated with Arthur Pierson on What’s Up? This performance ran for 63 performances and was followed by The Day Before Spring, which led to the formation of one of Broadway’s most successful collaborations.

Brigadoon was the first hit of their combination in 1947, followed by Paint Your Wagon. It was less effective. Lerner collaborated with Kurt Weill on the 1948 theatrical musical Love Life.
He collaborated with Burton Lane on the 1951 film Royal Wedding. He wrote the script for An American in Paris in the same year. Oscar-winning film produced by Arthur Freed and directed by Vincente Minnelli.

Lerner and Loewe debuted My Fair Lady in 1956, which broke box office records in New York and London, and its film adaptation won eight Academy Awards. This movie has been translated into eleven languages.
The next project was Gigi, a musical film based on the life of French novelist Colette. The picture ultimately won all nine Oscars for which it was nominated, as well as a special Oscar for one of its co-stars.

In 1960, they worked for Mose Hart, who directed Camelot. Due to Hart’s passing shortly after the show’s premiere, a dispute arose between Lerner and Loewe regarding the future of the show, and they parted ways following this production.

In 1965, he partnered with Burton Lane to develop the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, in which he had previously created a number of musicals. In 1970, this book by Lerner was adapted into a motion picture.

In 1974, he and Fritz Loewe collaborated on a musical adaptation of Antoine de Saint-narrative Exupéry’s children’s The Little Prince. The picture was not successful.

Alan’s Major Opera

Based on the novel Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, Lerner wrote the lyrics for the 1956 musical My Fair Lady. Under Broadway production, this musical was a smash hit. It was directed by Moss Hart and ran until 1962.

Personal History and Legacy

Ruth Boyd (1940–1947), Marion Bell (1947–1949), Nancy Olson (1950–1957), Micheline Muselli Pozzo di Borgo (1957–1965), Karen Gunderson (1966–1974), Sandra Payne (1974–1976), Nina Bushkin (1977–1981), and Liz Robertson (1981–1988) were his eight spouses. He passed away in Manhattan at the age of 67 from lung cancer.

Estimated Net Worth

Alan Jay Lerner has an estimated net worth of $6 million dollars and earns mostly as a librettist, author, film producer, biographer, songwriter, lyricist, and screenwriter. We lack sufficient evidence regarding Alan Jay Lerner’s automobiles and way of living.


During his time as a student at Harvard, he lost the vision in his left eye due to an accident during a boxing bout. This prevented him from serving in World War II. Additionally, he was well-known for his comedy.

It was well-known that he neglected his family and wives while he was involved in shows. For a number of years, he was prescribed Methedrine by a doctor.

According to a number of accounts, he lost a significant portion of his income due to divorces, while a large number of others assert that Lerner was responsible for his financial mess.