Lee Adams, the Tony Award winning lyricist behind the smash Broadway productions Bye Bye Birdie, Applause and Golden Boy, was born in Mansfield, Ohio on August 14, 1924.
Adams began his professional career as a working journalist, having first gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Ohio State University, and later, a Master's degree from the renowned Columbia School of journalism in New York.
For 10 years following his Master's degree in 1950, he worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and editor, and radio writer and interviewer. During those same years he began writing lyrics for shows at the summer camp, Green Mansions as well as special material for nightclub acts. He was also actively writing songs for composer Charles Strouse, whom he had met in 1949, for theatrical revues in New York and London.
The first production for the team of Adams and Strouse was the musical, Bye Bye Birdie. It debuted on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on April 14, 1960 starring Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera. It was an instant success and the initial production ran for over 600 performances earning the 1960 Tony Award for Best Musical. Three years later a film version was released starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke and Ann Margaret.
The next production for the team of Adams and Strouse was All American opened at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway on March 19, 1962. Two years later on October 20, Golden Boy, starring Sammy Davis Jr. opened at the Majestic and Adams and Strouse again received critical acclaim and…