George Michael Cohan - 'The Man Who Owned Broadway'

George Michael Cohan was an American entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer. Assumed by many to be Jewish because of his last name, which was really Keohane! Known in the decade before World War I as "the man who owned Broadway", he is considered the father of American musical comedy. His life and music were depicted in the Academy Award-winning film "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942) and the 1968 musical "George M!"  A statue of Cohan in Times Square in New York City commemorates his contributions to American musical theatre.  Cohan's well known song entitled "You're A Grand Old Flag" has been called "probably the most patriotic song ever written."

Cohan was born in Providence, Rhode Island to Catholic Irish parents, Jeremiah Keohane and Helen Frances Costigan. Jeremiah’s parents were Michael Keohane and Jane Johanna Scott, both of whom were born in Ireland.  But where in Ireland were they born? His great-grandfather was Cornelius Keohane. 

I'm once again calling on all you professional and amateur Irish genealogists to claim him.  This one I have not researched.


Views: 395

Tags: Ancestry, Arts, Genealogy, Music, NYC, Rhode Island, Theatre, United States

Comment by The Wild Geese on November 11, 2014 at 2:21pm


Comment by Jimmy Finn on November 11, 2014 at 2:47pm

Great , I have the words now , wonderful collection thinks for putting this together and sharing

Comment by Mary Collins Dolan on November 12, 2014 at 6:25am

I grew up on the film 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' and it remains one of my all-time favourites!  And of course Jimmy Cagney was the perfect choice for the role,  Good luck in your ancestor search and am looking forward to more!


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