George M Cohan statue
Public Art: George M Cohan statue
Sculptor: © Georg John Lober (1892-1961)
Description: A bronze statue of American composer,
playwright, actor and producer George M. Cohan (1878-1942)
Date Unveiled: The Cohan statue was unveiled on
September 11th, 1959 by Mayor Robert F. Wagner
Location: The George M Cohan statue is located in
Duffy Square, Broadway, W. 46 St. To W. 47 St., 7 Ave, Manhattan, New York.
Give my regards to Broadway
So who was George M Cohan? : George was born in
Providence, Rhode Island on July the 3rd, 1878 to showbiz parents. It wasn't surprising that a young George soon
found himself treading the boards on a vaudeville stage and the "legitimate" stage with his family in a
musical/comedy act called "The Four Cohans" (which also included his sister). By the time George was a teen he
was writing his own plays and songs. In 1901 the 23 year old had his first play produced in New York called 'The
Governor's Son' but it pretty much flopped. However George didn't let this dampen his dreams and his following
play, Little Johnny Jones (1904), became a hit with songs "Give My Regards To Broadway" and "The Yankee Doodle
Background to the George Cohan statue: Following
Cohan's death in 1942, a memorial committee was set up to help fund a statue in his honor.The first chairman was
none other than composer Irving Berlin, followed later by Oscar Hammerstein II. Sculptor Georg Lober and architect
Oto Lanmann, who collaborated together on the statue of Hans Christian Anderson in Central Park, were eventually
selected to complete the project. On September 11th, 1959 the statue was unveiled in Duffy Square right in the
heart of Broadway.
In 1942 James Cagney won an academy award for his portrayal of Cohan in the musical Yankee Doodle
Dandy. George Cohan attended a screening of the film a few weeks before he died from cancer.
Cohan was awarded a congressional medal in recognition of his contribution to the war effort
(1917–1918) through his songs "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There."
In 1997, the sculpture was restored with funding from the Times Square Business Improvement