Porter, Cole, 1891–1964, American composer and lyricist, b. Peru, Ind., grad. Yale, 1913. Porter's witty, sophisticated lyrics and his affecting melodies place him high in the ranks of American composers of popular music. He was an elegant and debonair man, in spite of a riding accident (1937) that left him crippled. He studied music at Harvard and with D'Indy at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. After one early failure, most of his musicals were vastly successful. They include Greenwich Village Follies (1924); Gay Divorce (1932); Anything Goes (1934); Jubilee (1935); Red, Hot and Blue (1936); Du Barry Was a Lady (1939); Panama Hattie (1940); Something for the Boys (1943); Kiss Me, Kate (1948); Can-Can (1953); and Silk Stockings (1955). Among Porter's film scores are Born to Dance (1936) and High Society (1956). His most popular songs include "Night and Day,""Begin the Beguine,""Let's Do It," and "In the Still of the Night."
See The Cole Porter Song Book (1959); R. Kimball, ed., The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter (1983) and Cole Porter: Selected Lyrics (2006); biography by W. McBrien (1998); R. Kimball, ed., Cole (1971, repr. 2000).