John Kander was born on March 18, 1927 in Kansas City, Missouri. He started in the music business as a child and climbed the ladders of the industry until his Broadway debut, A Family Affair, in 1962. In 1964, Kander was introduced to Fred Ebb who would become the second half of their duo. Together, they made hit musicals with Kander as the composer and Ebb as the lyricist. Their accomplishments together include Cabaret, Woman of the Year, The Act, and Chicago. The duo began working with Harold Prince to produce Broadway shows including The Red Menace which starred Liza Minnelli in her Tony award-winning Broadway debut. Cabaret came after this, winning a total of 7 Tony awards. Liza Minnelli would win an Academy Award for the film adaptation of the musical, and the film itself won 7 Oscars. In 1975 Kander and Ebb wrote the music for Chicago. When the musical was revived as a film in 2002, it won 6 Oscars. After an absence in the late 1970’s, Kander and Ebb returned to Broadway and wrote music for the stage late into the 1980’s.
Another notable Kander and Ebb accomplishment is the composition of “New York, New York,” the unnofficial themesong of New York City.
Today, Kander is 89 years old and the legacy he left on Broadway is still running strong.
Songwriters Hall of Fame Staff. “Songwriters Hall of FameInducted 1983 | BMI Writer.” Songwriters Hall of Fame. Songwriters Hall of Fame, n.d. Web. 16 May 2016. <http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/bio/C217>.