Stephen Foster Biography

Songwriter (1826–1864)
Composer Stephen Foster is lauded as the progenitor of American popular music, penning classics like “Oh! Susanna” and “Swanee River.”


Composer Stephen Foster was born on July 4, 1826, in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. He had his first song published at the age of 18, “Open Thy Lattice Love,” and would later become known for penning tunes like “Oh! Susanna,” “Nelly Was a Lady,” “Gwine to Run All Night” and “Swanee River.” Although he had money troubles and received limited royalties, he left a great body of work upon his death that is worth millions today.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!