Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Oscar winning songwriter Hal David passed away Saturday at age 91 at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
His death, caused by complications from a stroke was confirmed by his wife Eunice.
The Brooklyn native was born in May 1921 to Austrian parents. He studied journalism at the New York University before joining the military during the World War II, where he served in the Army Entertainment Section.
David has collaborated with many composers, but it was his creative partnership with Burt Bacharach that is most fruitful. Together they made the world sing and swoon to songs like “I say A Little Prayer,” “What the World Needs Now” and “Always Something There to Remind Me.” Together they went on to win Oscars, Grammys and Tonys, among other awards. They have also worked with some of the most notable icons of the music industry such as the Carpenters, Dionne Warwick and the Beatles.
Paul Williams, current President and Chairman of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, said in a statement, “Hal David has been a great inspiration to me both as a songwriter, a mentor, and as a leader of ASCAP. As a lyric writer, Hal was simple, concise and poetic –conveying volumes of meaning in fewest possible words and always in service to the music. It is no wonder that so many of his lyrics have become part of our everyday vocabulary and his songs… the backdrop of our lives. ASCAP enjoyed Hal’s devoted service and leadership for nearly four decades as a Board member and six years as President.”
“He was always able to see the big picture when it came to the music business and was one of the most respected and valued voices in our music community. His concern for his fellow ASCAP members was always paramount. To me, he was a faithful friend and supporter, whom I will miss deeply. I know that all of ASCAP’s members join me in mourning his loss,” Williams continued.
The man behind the words of the famed song “What Do You Get When You Fall in Love?”, David’s lyrics will keep resounding in every generation and will live on, as his songs continue to be sung and recorded by today’s artists such as John Legend and Alicia Keys.
David is survived by his second wife Eunice—his first wife, Anne, died in 1987, and his two sons, Jim and Craig, three grandchildren, and two stepsons.