Richard Adler, the Tony-winning composer of The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, passed away on June 21 at his home in Southampton, New York. He was 90 years old.
Adler was born in New York City in 1921. Adler graudated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1943, and served in the U.S. Naval reserve during World War II. He co-composed the music and lyrics for The Pajama Game (1954) and Damn Yankees (1955), both of which earned Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Score. He received an additonal Tony nomination for composing Kwamina (1961), and also served as a producer for the Broadway productions of The Sin of Pat Muldoon, Rex and Music Is.
In addition to his Broadway career, Adler composed many symponic works including Wilderness Suite and The Lady Remembers. He has also composed ballets for the Chicago City Ballet and the Miami City Ballet. During the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson presidential administrations, Adler stage and produced numerous presidential events including JFK's birthday celebration where Marilyn Monroe performed her iconic rendition of "Happy Birthday."
Adler is survived by his wife, Susan A. Ivory, and his children, Andrew Adler, Katherine Adler and Charles Shipman, as well as his grandchildren Damien and Scarlett Adler and Lola Jane Shipman. He was preceded in death by his son Christopher in 1984.