George Gershwin

George Gershwin in 1937, by Carl Van Vechten; at Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division/Van Vechten Collection, van.5a52009

Birth Name: Jacob Gershwine

Date of Birth: September 26, 1898

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, Kings, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: July 11, 1937

Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist.

George was the son of Rosa/Rose/Roza (Bruskin/Brushiein) and Moishe/Morris Gershowitz/Gershovitz/Gershwin, who was a leather cutter for women’s shoes, and factory foreman. His parents were born in St. Petersburg, Russia, both of them to Jewish families. He was the brother of lyricist Ira Gershwin, composer and stockbroker Arthur Gershwin, and singer, musician, performer, and artist Frances Gershwin.

George’s paternal grandfather was named Jakov/Yakov Gershowitz/Gershovitz. Jakov was born in Odessa, Ukraine.

George’s paternal grandmother was named Sarah Sora Lipshitz.

George’s maternal grandfather was named Gerschen/Gershon Bruskin. Gerschen was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, and was a furrier.

George’s maternal grandmother was named Mariska/Mariaska/Mary Geschinik/Dechinik/Dechinek/Dechkin.

Sources: Genealogies of George Gershwin –


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