- Joseph P. Swain
Rodgers, Richard (28 June 1902–30 December 1979), composer of the American musical theater, was born in Arverne, New York, the son of William Abraham Rodgers, a physician, and Mamie Levy. Rodgers showed an unusual ability to remember, pick out, and even harmonize melodies on his mother’s piano from early on. He resisted formal training in piano, but throughout his career he used this instrument as his primary means of working out a song. His parents loved the musical theater and brought him to see ...