Abel Meeropol

Abel Meeropol

About Abel Meeropol

Abel Meeropol (February 10, 1903 – October 30, 1986) was an American writer, teacher and song-writer, whose works were published under his pseudonym Lewis Allan. His best-known song is Strange Fruit (1937), especially as recorded by Billie Holiday. He and his wife Anne cared for and adopted Michael and Robert, the two young sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were orphaned after their parents were executed for conspiracy to commit espionage -- the government accused them of having stolen the secret of the Atomic Bomb. The boys took the Meeropol surname to gain some privacy. Meeropol wrote the anti-lynching poem Strange Fruit (1937), which was first published in the Marxist publication, The New Masses. He later set it to music. The song's best-known recordings and performances were by Billie Holiday and Josh White. Billie Holiday claimed in Lady Sings the Blues, that she co-wrote the music to the song with Meeropol and Sonny White, but Meeropol was the sole writer of both the lyrics and melody.
Meeropol wrote countless poems and songs, including the Frank Sinatra and Josh White hit, The House I Live In. He also wrote the libretto of Robert Kurka's opera, The Good Soldier Schweik (1957), which was premiered in 1958 by the New York City Opera.

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