Biography: Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II was born on July 12, 1895 in New York City. His father managed the Victoria Theatre and was a producer of vaudeville shows. He attended Columbia University and studied at Columbia Law School. He quit law school for the theatre, and collaborated with various composers including Otto Harbach, Jerome Kern, and Richard Rodgers. He contributed lyrics to over 800 songs. He married Myra Finn, with whom he had his children William and Alice. He then married Dorothy Blanchard Jacobson, with whom he had his son James.
Film/TV Credits: Film credits include: "The Sound of Music," "American Graffiti," "The King and I," "Show Boat," "South Pacific," "Oklahoma!," "Carmen Jones," "Carousel," "Annie Get Your Gun," "Flower Drum Song," "State Fair," "The Great Waltz," and "That's Entertainment!." Television credits include: "The Wonderful World of Disney," "Cinderella," "Great Performances," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Live from Lincoln Center," and "Person to Person."
Other Awards: Rodgers and Hammerstein received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York." Oscar for Best Music, Original Song for "Lady Be Good" with Jerome Kern in 1942. Oscar for Best Music, Original Song for "State Fair" with Richard Rodgers in 1946.
Trivia: The final song he wrote was "Edelweiss" in The Sound of Music. He was a mentor to composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim. The marquees of Broadway theaters were dimmed in his honor on September 1, 1960.