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LGBT People Of History Part 92 Stephen Sondheim

Updated on April 24, 2012
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim | Source
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim | Source

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Joshua Sondheim was born on the 22nd of March 1930 in to a Jewish family in New York City. His father was Herbert Sondheim and his mother was Etta Janet Sondheim.

He began his education at the Ethical Culture affiliated Fieldston School and then the New York Military Academy before attending George School which was a private Quaker preparatory school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

It was at George School that Stephen wrote his first musical ‘By George’ and later graduated from the school in 1946.

When he was ten years old his parents were divorcing, and he became friends with Jamie Hammerstein the son of the lyricist and playwright Oscar Hammerstein II. Oscar became Sondheim's surrogate father, and had a profound influence on him. He helped Stephen in developing a love for musical theatre.

In 1950, Sondheim graduated magna cum laude from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Later He went on to study composition with the composer Milton Babbitt.

He notoriously hated his mother. She would take out her anger at him over the divorce and abandonment they received from his father.

Stephen is gay. He has been described as very introverted and as a solitary person. He has said that he would be quite easy to live with. He came out when he was in his 40s. When he was 61 he had his first significant relationship. This was with dramatist Peter Jones. It lasted for many years until 1999. He would have loved to have adopted children but unfortunately for his generation being gay and adopting just did not happen.

In New York City, his next door neighbour was Katherine Hepburn.

He is known as an American composer and lyricist for stage and film working on many familiar musicals such as ‘West Side Story’ and many others.

He has won an Academy Award, and eight Tony Awards which is more than any other composer has. He even won a Special Tony Award for his Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

He holds multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and even the Laurence Olivier Award.

He is a legend.

Callum & Ian

With Thanks To Wikipedia.

LGBT People Of History Archive
LGBT People Of History Archive | Source
LGBT People Of History Website
LGBT People Of History Website | Source


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    • A Thousand Words profile image

      A Thousand Words 

      6 years ago

      @ Tom Hellert, Sondheim is responsible for the music for "Sunday in the Park with George" and "Sweeney Todd."

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      6 years ago from home

      i have never heard of the guy....interesting....

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      6 years ago from Tennesee

      This was interesting! I like Sondheim's work.

    • alian346 profile image


      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      We have around 90 others for you to read, A Thousand Words! The link is above.


    • A Thousand Words profile image

      A Thousand Words 

      6 years ago

      Wow, I love Stephen Sondheim! Didn't know he was gay. Thanks for the info! I love "Sunday in the Park with George!" A favorite of mine that he did. Keep'em comin', Calpol. I'm always interested when I read these.

    • calpol25 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Thank you both x

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      6 years ago from United States

      Fabulous man. Great story of his life.

    • alian346 profile image


      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      A true international legend.



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