Dietz, Howard

Dietz, Howard
born Sept. 9, 1896, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died July 30, 1983, New York City

U.S. songwriter.

He studied at Columbia University and later joined an advertising agency, where he designed the trademark roaring lion for Goldwyn Pictures (later MGM). He joined the film studio in 1919 and became director of advertising, a post he held until 1957. From 1923 he wrote lyrics in his spare time. In 1929 he met the composer Arthur Schwartz (1900–84); the duo established their reputation with The Little Show and went on to write such Broadway shows as Three's a Crowd (1930), The Band Wagon (1931), and The Gay Life (1961). Dietz wrote about 500 songs; the Dietz-Schwartz collaborations include "Something to Remember You By," "Dancing in the Dark," and "You and the Night and the Music."

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▪ American executive and songwriter
born Sept. 9, 1896, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died July 30, 1983, New York City

      American motion-picture executive and songwriter.

      After graduating from Columbia University in 1917, Dietz joined the Philip Goodman Advertising Agency, where he was assigned to devise a trademark for Goldwyn Pictures. Dietz used Columbia's lion mascot as an inspiration for the Goldwyn studio's “roaring lion” trademark, which thereafter appeared at the beginning of each film, including those made after Goldwyn Pictures merged with two other studios in 1924 to become Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.)) Corporation. Dietz also suggested the lion's accompanying Latin motto, “Ars Gratia Artis”—“Art for Art's Sake.” Dietz himself joined Goldwyn Pictures in 1919 and soon became director of advertising and publicity, a post that he retained in MGM until his retirement in 1957.

      Dietz wrote lyrics in his spare time and eventually wrote the words to more than 500 songs. He began this second career in 1923, but it was not until he teamed up with the song composer Arthur Schwartz in 1929 and the duo established their reputation with the musical revue The Little Show that his talents were recognized. The two men went on to collaborate in writing such popular Broadway musicals and revues as Three's a Crowd (1930), The Band Wagon (1931), Flying Colors (1932), Revenge with Music (1934), At Home Abroad (1935), Inside U.S.A. (1941), and The Gay Life (1961). Dietz also wrote an acclaimed English translation of Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus in 1950.

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Universalium. 2010.

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