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Earl Carroll As a pilot during World War I, c. 1918. Courtesy of the National Archives (NWDNS-165-WW-432[P1524]).

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Carroll, Earl (16 September 1893–17 June 1948), theatrical producer and songwriter, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of James Carroll and Elizabeth Wills, hotelkeepers. At thirteen, Carroll became a program boy at a Pittsburgh theater. At seventeen, having graduated from Allegheny High School, he was assistant treasurer and box-office manager at another theater. He worked his passage around the world doing odd jobs, wrote for an English-language newspaper in the Orient, and, after visiting New York, became treasurer at Pittsburgh’s Nixon Theater....

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Golden, John (27 June 1874–17 June 1955), theatrical producer, songwriter, and playwright, was born in New York City, the son of Joel Golden, a teacher and proprietor of a summer hotel, and Amelia Tyreler. Raised in Wauseon, Ohio, he went to New York at age fourteen to pursue a career as an actor. For seven years he struggled, accepting odd jobs and selling comic verses, the latter written after the manner of W. S. Gilbert, to the weekly humor magazines ...

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Sosenko, Anna (13 June 1909–09 June 2000), producer, songwriter, manager, and archivist, was born in Camden, New Jersey, one of three children of Rebecca Sosenko (maiden name unknown) and Simon Sosenko. The family was not one of means; Anna's mother ran a restaurant and a sometime boarding house, occasionally renting out rooms in the family home. Sosenko's formal education came to an end when she graduated from Camden High School. Her life would change, however, in her early adulthood when the family let a room to a struggling girl-pianist who toiled in a “five-a-day” (five shows a day) vaudeville theater across the street. The struggling pianist was Hildegarde Sell, the Milwaukee-born daughter of German immigrants. The two girls struck up an instant friendship and eventually a partnership that would make both their fortunes....