Broadway composer Jerry Herman, writer of Hello, Dolly! and Mame, dies at 88

The Tony and Grammy winner's compositions included I Am Who I Am, which became an LGBT anthem


Jerry Herman, the Broadway composer behind musicals Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage aux Folles, has died aged 88, it has been announced.

Mr Herman died on Thursday at his home in Miami pulmonary complications, his goddaughter told Associated Press. 

The composer was raised by Jewish parents and said he was inspired to write for musicals by Irving Berlin.

He described seeing Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun. "I walked out of that theatre singing all those wonderful Berlin songs and, from that moment on, that’s all I wanted to do with my life,” he said in an 1994 interview.

His song I Am What I Am, from La Cage aux Folles, became an LGBT anthem. Hello, Dolly! and Le Cage aux Folles both won the Tony award for best musical. 

Mr Herman also won two Grammy awards for his work.

Barbra Streisand was among those paying tribute to him on social media, writing: "His tuneful optimism brought joy to the world."

She shared a photo of herself in the title role of the film version of Hello, Dolly!.

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