Cole Porter

Composer and Songwriter
Born Jun 9, 1891

Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage.… Read More

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1891 Birth She falsified his recorded birth year, changing it from 1891 to 1893 to make him appear more precocious. … Read More


1905 14 Years Old J. O. Cole wanted his grandson to become a lawyer, and with that career in mind, he sent him to Worcester Academy in Massachusetts in 1905. … Read More
1909 18 Years Old Entering Yale University in 1909, Porter majored in English, minored in music, and also studied French. … Read More


1913 22 Years Old After graduating from Yale, Porter enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1913. … Read More
1915 24 Years Old In 1915, Porter's first song on Broadway, "Esmeralda", appeared in the revue Hands Up.
1916 25 Years Old The quick success was immediately followed by failure: his first Broadway production, in 1916, See America First, a "patriotic comic opera" modeled on Gilbert and Sullivan, with a book by T. … Read More
1917 26 Years Old In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, Porter moved to Paris to work with the Duryea Relief organization. … Read More
1918 27 Years Old In 1918, he met Linda Lee Thomas, a rich, Louisville, Kentucky-born divorcée eight years his senior. … Read More
1919 28 Years Old 1 More Event
They were, moreover, genuinely devoted to each other and remained married from December 19, 1919, until her death in 1954. … Read More
1920 29 Years Old In 1920, he contributed the music of several songs to the musical A Night Out. … Read More


1921 30 Years Old Porter received few commissions for songs in the years immediately after his marriage. He had the occasional number interpolated into other writers' revues in Britain and the U.S. For a C. B. Cochran show in 1921, he had two successes with the comedy numbers "The Blue Boy Blues" and "Olga, Come Back to the Volga".
1923 32 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1923, in collaboration with Gerald Murphy, he composed a short ballet, originally titled Landed and then Within the Quota, satirically depicting the adventures of an immigrant to America who becomes a film star. … Read More
1925 34 Years Old He wrote most of the original score, but his songs were gradually dropped during the Broadway run, and by the time of the post-Broadway tour in 1925, all his numbers had been deleted. … Read More
1928 37 Years Old 1 More Event
At the age of 36, Porter reintroduced himself to Broadway in 1928 with the musical Paris, his first hit. … Read More


1934 43 Years Old …  Porter also composed the cowboy song "Don't Fence Me In" for Adios, Argentina, an unproduced movie, in 1934, but it did not become a hit until Roy Rogers sang it in the 1944 film Hollywood Canteen. … Read More
1935 44 Years Old The Porters moved to Hollywood in December 1935, but Porter's wife did not like the movie environment, and Porter's homosexual peccadillos, formerly very discreet, became less so; she retreated to their Paris house.
When his film assignment on Rosalie was finished in 1937, Porter hastened to Paris to make his peace with Linda, but she remained cool.
1939 48 Years Old 1 More Event
…  At the end of 1939, Porter contributed six songs to the film Broadway Melody of 1940 for Fred Astaire, George Murphy and Eleanor Powell.


1948 57 Years Old From this low spot, Porter made a conspicuous comeback, in 1948, with Kiss Me, Kate. … Read More


1952 61 Years Old Porter's mother died in 1952, and his wife died from emphysema in 1954.
1958 67 Years Old By 1958, Porter's injuries caused a series of ulcers on his right leg. … Read More
1964 73 Years Old Porter died of kidney failure on October 15, 1964, in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 73. … Read More
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