Israel Baline was born of Jewish parents in Siberia, Russia, on 11th May, 1888. When he was four years old his family emigrated to the United States and the family settled in the lower east side of New York.
He changed his name to Irving Berlin and worked as a singing waiter in a beerhall. Berlin wrote songs and had his first hit in 1909 with Sadie Salome, Go Home. This was followed by Alexander's Ragtime Band (1911), Everybody's Doing It (1911), God Bless America(1917).
After the war Berlin wrote several musicals before concentrating on films including the Jazz Singer(1927), Follow the Fleet (1936), Easter Parade (1948), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) and White Christmas (1954). Irving Berlin died on 22nd September, 1989.
Last updated: 26th July, 2002