Sammy Cahn was a 4-time Academy Award-winning American lyricist, songwriter and musician. He is best known for his romantic lyrics to tin pan alley and Broadway songs, as recorded by Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and many others.
Cahn was born Samuel Cohen in the Lower East Side of New York City, to Jewish immigrants from Poland. He was married twice: First to vocalist and former Goldwyn girl, Gloria Delson, in 1945, with whom he had two children, and, in 1970, to Virginia Basile. He changed his last name from Cohen to Kahn to avoid confusion with comic and MGM actor Sammy Cohen and again from Kahn to Cahn to avoid confusion with lyricist Gus Kahn.
Much of Sammy Cahn's early work was written in partnership with Saul Chaplin. Billed simply as “Cahn and Chaplin”, they composed witty special material for Warner Brothers' musical short subjects.
In 1988, an annual award for movie songs and scores was created and was named the Sammy Awards in honor of Cahn. He was chosen because he had received more Oscar nominations than any other songwriter, receiving twenty-six during his career.
Sammy Cahn died in 1993 at the age of 79 in Los Angeles, California.
In 1993 the Cahn estate established the High Hopes Fund at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. As Cahn had been a patient at Joslin himself, the estate's goal was to provide hope and encouragement to children with diabetes while supporting research into the causes of the disease.