Irving Berlin Biography and Quotes

Irving Berlin Quotes and Biography

Birthday: May 11th, 1888
Commemoration: September 22nd, 1989
Nationality: American


Years Old

Famously Known For

Composed a number of popular songs

Wrote popular  broadway musicals

Popular  for the ragtime bbeat

Early Life

Berlin was born on 11 May 1888 at Israel Isidore Beilin, which is located in the Russian empire. He had seven siblings whose parents were Moses and Lena Lipkin Beilin. His father was a cantor in a synagogue. 

Just like most of the jewish families at this time, his family relocated to America. He and his siblings had to be put in a pen by the immigration officers until they dimmed them fit to step on American soil. Their family lived in new York city where his fatherhad to partially work as a Hebrew teacher and in the meat market to provide for their family. 

When he was  thirteen years old,  his father  passed  away and he had to step up and provide for his mother and his siblings. His mother began offering midwife services while his three sisters worked as cigar wrappers.

Personal Life

Berlin  was  married  to  20  year old  Dorothy Goetz  who  died  briefly  after their  honey moon  on  contracting  yellow  fever. This inspired him to write when I lost you. 

He was engaged to  Ellin Mackay,  who was a catholic. This relationship was opposed bby the bride’s father who even disowned her.  The  two had a  love affair and had four children. 


With a limited level of education, Berlin had to undertake informal jobs. He took to singing which he had picked up from his late father’s  vocation. He was keen on the type of songs that highly appealed to his audience and used them to  make himself popular in these parts. 

He learnt how to  play the piano and he took time to write some of his songs. His first song was Marie from sunny Italy. Many established people recognized his talent as a songwriter and composer among them, Max Winslow. 


Berlin died in  the  year 1989 , at the age of 101 years after suffering from a heart attack in his sleep. 

Quotes by Irving Berlin