He is a lyricist born in Mansfield, Ohio, who studied at Ohio State University and Columbia University. He initially worked as a journalist, later becoming a magazine writer and editor and a radio writer and interviewer.
He started to write songs for summer camp shows and nightclubs before he began collaborating with the composer Charles Strouse. They wrote many songs for musical theatre and won Tony Awards for Bye Bye Birdie in 1961 and Applause in 1970.
The many songs he worked on include “Put On a Happy Face”, “Golden Boy” , “Lot of Livin’ To Do” and the instantly recognizable title “It’s a Bird…It’s A Plane…It’s Superman” written for the original 1966 Broadway production.
He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989 and he and Charles Strouse got together again to work on the musical Marty which premiered in Boston in 2002.
Kevin Spacey Recordings
Once Upon a Time (Lee Adams/Charles Strouse)
Here he is with Charles Strouse talking about Bye, Bye Birdie…