Jeffrey Moss (1942 - 1998)



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Jeff Moss
Born Jeffrey Arnold Moss
June 19, 1942
New York City, New York
Died September 24, 1998 (aged 56)
Manhattan, New York City, New York
Occupation composer and lyricist
Known for writing songs for Sesame Street
Jeffrey Arnold "Jeff" Moss (June 19, 1942 – September 24, 1998) was a composer, lyricist, playwright and television writer, best known for his award-winning work on the children's television series Sesame Street.
Early life
Moss was born in New York City; his father was a stage and screen actor, Arnold Moss, and his mother, Stella Reynolds gave up acting to become a soap opera writer. He attended the Browning School, a prestigious New York private school, and was #1 in his class.
He attended Princeton University, and was a member of the Princeton Triangle Club theater company. After graduating in 1963, he took a job as a production assistant at the children's television show Captain Kangaroo (he also got an offer to work for CBS News, which he later said he had turned down because "I've seen the news"). He was married to Broadway and film actress, Marian Hailey.
Sesame Street
In 1969, he became the first head writer, along with a composer and lyricist, for Sesame Street. He would eventually win fourteen Emmy Awards for the show.[1] Songs he wrote for the show include "I Love Trash", "Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood", and "Rubber Duckie". "Rubber Duckie" became a surprise mainstream hit, reaching #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1970. Moss is also credited with, among other things, creating the character of Cookie Monster, based on a puppet Jim Henson had created called "Boggle Eyes".
Moss wrote the song "Nasty Dan", which Johnny Cash sang when he appeared on Sesame Street; it later appeared on the 1975 The Johnny Cash Children's Album. In 1976, the song became a #1 hit in France for Claude François, who recorded it with French lyrics under the title "Sale Bonhomme". In 1984, Moss wrote the music and lyrics for The Muppets Take Manhattan.[citation needed]
Other works
In the late 1970s, Moss wrote Double Feature, a musical which received good reviews when it opened in New Haven, Connecticut. Moss worked with Mike Nichols and Tommy Tune, but when Moss became adamant about not implementing changes Nichols wanted, Nichols and Tune walked out, and the show opened off-Broadway to poor reviews in October 1981, and quickly closed. In 1993, he penned the music for a Rita and Runt song, "I'm Nobody's Mama", for Animaniacs, along with show writer Deanna Oliver.
Moss wrote many children's books, including the 1989 book "The Butterfly Jar" and the 1992 "Bob and Jack: A Boy and His Yak". He also wrote some under the Sesame Street brand name, such as "The Sesame Street Book of Poetry" and The Sesame Street Songbook.[citation needed]
His other works include "The Other Side of the Door" (1991), "Hieronymus White: A Bird Who Believed That He Always Was Right" (1994), "Bone Poems" (1998) and "The Dad of the Dad of the Dad of Your Dad."
Moss was credited with winning fourteen Emmy Awards, and in 1984, was nominated for an Academy Award for the music and lyrics he wrote for The Muppets Take Manhattan.
In 2007, Princeton University ranked Moss as one of its 26 most influential alumni, citing the effect of his songs and characters on the Sesame Street audience.
Episode 3786 of Sesame Street was dedicated in his memory.
In 1994, Moss was diagnosed with colon cancer, from which he died at his home in Manhattan, New York, on September 24, 1998, at the age of 56. He was survived by his wife, Anne Boylan; his son, Alexander Moss; and his stepson, Jonathan Boylan Smith. He died on Jim Henson's birthday.

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Father: Arnold Moss
Mother: Stella Moss
Siblings: Andrea Moss End


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1942 - In the year that Jeffrey Moss was born, on November 28th at 10:15p, a nightclub in Boston, the Cocoanut Grove, caught fire. The origins of the fire are unknown but it killed 492 people - the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. Hundreds more were injured. The disaster was so shocking that it replaced World War II in the headlines and lead to reforms in safety standards and codes.

1951 - Jeffrey was only 9 years old when on February 27th, the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution (which limited the number of terms a president may serve to two) was ratified by 36 states, making it a part of the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment was both a reaction to the 4 term Roosevelt presidency and also the recognition of a long-standing tradition in American politics.

1967 - He was 25 years old when on November 7th, President Johnson signed legislation passed by Congress that created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which would later become PBS and NPR. The legislation required CPB to operate with a "strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature".

1995 - When he was 53 years old, on September 3rd, eBay was founded in San Jose California. Beginning as simply a place for Pierre Omidyar's girlfriend (now wife) to share her Pez passion and collection online, the site has become a multibillion-dollar business and operates in 30 countries.

1998 - In the year of Jeffrey Moss's passing, on December 19th, the movie Titanic - based on the 1912 sinking of the ship and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet - was released. Winning 11 Oscars, it was the first film to gross over a billion dollars and eventually grossed over $2 billion.

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Jeffrey Moss died on September 24, 1998 at 56 years old. There is no known cause of death. He was born on June 19, 1942. He was born to Arnold Moss and Stella Moss, with sibling Andrea.


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