Name and location of repository
Level of description
Donald Kahn Papers
- 1930 - 2007 (Creation)
1.5 cft; 1 document box, 1 clamshell box
Name of creator
Donald Gustav Kahn (July 17, 1918—April 11, 2008), the only son of Gus and Grace LeBoy Kahn, was born in Chicago during the early phase of his father’s songwriting career. He realized as a five-year old that he wanted to follow in his father’s musical footsteps, but as a composer and arranger, not a lyricist. Donald studied music at Pomona College and served in the Air Force during World War II. In 1956, he collaborated with noted lyricist Stanley Styne to create his most popular work, “A Beautiful Friendship.” The song was recorded by a number of artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Margaret Whiting, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole. In the 1970s, Donald wrote music for Sesame Street. Although he labored in the shadow of his father, he worked tirelessly to keep his father’s legacy alive and was a strong proponent for Whoopee!, a 1990s revival of Whoopee.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
The collection consists of sheet music, manuscripts, correspondence, and other material documenting the career of Donald Kahn.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
All material is open to the public without restriction. Copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) govern the making of photocopies or other reproductions.
Conditions governing reproduction
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the Great American Songbook Foundation. Music written prior to 1923 is in the public domain. For more information, please consult the staff of the Library & Archives.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Uploaded finding aid
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
Received from Margaret Kahn, widow of Donald Kahn, on November 18, 2008.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
- Citation: Donald Kahn Papers, The Great American Songbook Foundation.
- Processing information: Processed by Lisa Lobdell, Archivist. Completed May 22, 2012.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
AtoM description created by Ashlee James, February 2018.