Irving Berlin was born May 11, 1888, in the Russian Empire. Throughout the early part of the 20th century, he became a well-established American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He wrote hundreds of songs, many becoming major hits, which made him famous before he turned thirty. During his 60-year career he wrote an estimated 1,500 songs, including the scores for 20 original Broadway shows and 15 original Hollywood films. Berlin died in 1989 at the age of 101.