100 Heroes: Cole Porter

The gay man who showed the world that Anything Goes.

100 Heroes: Cole Porter

Cole Porter was a composer and songwriter. Many of his songs became standards noted for their witty, urbane lyrics, and many of his scores found success on Broadway and in film.

His most successful musical was Kiss Me, Kate, but Anything Goes also continues to be popular. Porter’s hit songs include Night and Day, I Get a Kick Out of You, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, and My Heart Belongs to Daddy.

Early years

Porter was born in 1891 in Indiana. He began learning music from a young age.

Porter studied at Yale and at Harvard, where he continued to pursue his passion for music.


In 1917, Porter moved to Paris.

He served with the French Foreign Legion for a while, but this period is most remembered for the parties that he threw at his Paris apartment. Porter’s parties were known for being a bit scandalous and very gay.


In 1928, Porter returned to New York with a new show that secured his career in musical theatre. From there, the hits kept coming and Porter expanded his scope to include writing for films.

The accident

In 1937, Porter was injured in a horse-riding accient. The horse he was riding rolled on him and crushed his legs, leaving him with permanent injuries and severe pain.

He continued working after the accident, creating some of the biggest hits of his career.

Final years

Porter died of kidney failure in 1964. He was 73.

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