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Yankee Doodle Dandy

Entertainer George M. Cohan was born on July 3, 1878, to Irish Catholic parents in Providence, R.I., although he famously boasted that he was born on July 4. By the early 20th century, the producer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer and dancer was known as the “man who owns Broadway.” When, on his death bed in 1942, he saw a screening of James Cagney’s depiction of him in the film “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” he said: “My God, what an act to follow!” Today, the “Give My Regards To Broadway” statue of him presides over Times Square in New York City.

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