Joe Masteroff

Born in 1919 in Philadelphia, he had only one dream from infancy: to write for the theater. After the essential lonely childhood and four-year stint in the Air Force, he came to New York to face his future: book writer or book seller? Luckily, luck intervened. Before long he had three shows on Broadway bearing his name: The Warm Peninsula (1959) starring Julie Harris, and two musicals: She Loves Me (1963) and Cabaret (1966) for which he was the book writer. Joe did not shy away from difficult subjects which is evidenced in all of his work: the rise of Nazism and antisemitism in Cabaret; infidelity and the desperation of middle-aged people looking for love in She Loves Me; racism in America in Georgia Avenue which was based on Imitation of Life; rape in Desire Under the Elms; prostitution in Anna Christie; murderous monarchs in Six Wives about Henry VIII. Inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2016, Joe died at the age of 98 in New York City.