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Mrs Leonore “Lee” <I>Strunsky</I> Gershwin

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Mrs Leonore “Lee” Strunsky Gershwin

  • Birth 3 Oct 1900 San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
  • Death 20 Aug 1991 Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York, USA
  • Plot Gershwin family mausoleum
  • Memorial ID 77519203

Married Ira Gershwin, 14 September 1926. Ira passed away 17 August 1983.

During the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Ira Gershwin made periodic donations of manuscripts and other materials to the Library of Congress, along with his detailed descriptions of many of the items. From time to time, Ira purchased items for the Gershwin Collection, and his interest in the collection continued until his death.

In the course of the next eight years, Leonore Gershwin sustained and expanded her husband's efforts on behalf of the collection and the Library. In 1987 she donated the remainder of the music manuscripts and lyric sheets from their home; on a number of occasions she, too, purchased music manuscripts and correspondence for the collection. Since her death, her very generous bequest has enabled the Library to acquire additional materials, including the files relating to "Porgy and Bess" from the archives of the Theatre Guild.

In 1987, Leonore established the Ira Gershwin Literacy Center at University Settlement, a century-old institution at 185 Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side, New York City. The Center is designed to give English-language programs to primarily Hispanic and Chinese Americans. Ira and his younger brother George spent many after-school hours at the Settlement.


L.A. Times obituary, August 22, 1991

Leonore Gershwin; Widow of Musical Theater Lyricist

Leonore Gershwin, the wife of lyricist Ira Gershwin, has died of the complications of age, her nephew said Wednesday. She was 90.

Mrs. Gershwin, who spent much of her final years preserving the legacy of her husband and his brother, composer George Gershwin, died Tuesday at her home in Beverly Hills, which is decorated with the brothers' self-portraits.

In 1989, she established Roxbury Recordings, which has recorded two of the Gershwin stage works in their entirety, "Girl Crazy" and the soon-to-be-released "Strike Up the Band."

The "Girl Crazy" album won Stereo Review's record of the year award in 1991.

Ira and George Gershwin were two of the brightest stars of the musical theater's Golden Age of the 1920s and '30s. Their first Broadway hit was "Lady, Be Good!" in 1924. Other successes include "Oh, Kay!", "Funny Face" and the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Of Thee I Sing." Ira also wrote some of the lyrics for his brother's opera, "Porgy and Bess."

The brothers moved to California in 1936 to work in films. George died one year later of a brain tumor. Ira died in 1983.

Ira and Leonore Strunsky were introduced by George in 1919. They were married in 1926.

Funeral services will be held Friday in the Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., where her husband and brother-in-law also are buried. A memorial service in Los Angeles is being planned for October, her nephew, Michael Strunsky, said.


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  • Created by: Researcher
  • Added: 2 Oct 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 77519203
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mrs Leonore “Lee” Strunsky Gershwin (3 Oct 1900–20 Aug 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 77519203, citing Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Researcher (contributor 47327837) .