William LeBaron

1883 - 1958

Class of 2018

Performing Arts

Production chief at Paramount Studios from 1936 -1941

Head of the Independent Production Unit at 20th Century Fox from 1941 - 1947

Wrote the book and lyrics for ten Broadway plays

William LeBaron, Visual Arts-Film Producer, was born in Elgin in 1883. He graduated from Elgin High School and attended the University of Chicago and New York University. A producer, songwriter, composer and author, he wrote a number of Broadway stage scores and libretti.

 

More than 10 years of song writing in New York City prepared him for writing the book and lyrics for 10 Broadway plays.

 

LeBaron worked as the managing editor of Colliers Magazine, and then director general of Cosmopolitan Productions until 1924, when he caught the eye of financiers like Joseph Kennedy, who suggested he go to Hollywood. Reluctantly he did.

 

In Hollywood, he began producing films. He also joined ASCAP in 1933 and wrote dozens of popular songs. He was chief production executive of Film Booking Offices of America in 1927, production chief at RKO Studios from 1929-1931 and production chief at Paramount Studios from 1936-1941. He was the head of the Independent Production Unit at 20th Century Fox from 1941 until he retired in 1947.

 

LeBaron died Feb. 9, 1958.

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