Stephen Collins Foster, late 1850s.
Close Window

Head and shoulders painting of Foster wearing a jacket, vest and bow-tie.

Credit: Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State Archives

One of the great tragic figures in the history of American show business, Stephen Foster lived a short and troubled life. Emotionally distant, his poured his heart into songs that continue to stir people's emotions. The nation's first great songwriter, he descended into alcoholism, poverty, and a lonely death far from his home at the age of thirty-seven.

Back to Top