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Oscar Hammerstein I, by unknown artist.
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Oil on canvas of head and shoulders of Hammerstein wearing a black suit with white shirt.

Credit: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mrs. Oscar Hammerstein II through Mr. Alexander Ince

After immigrating from Germany to New York in 1864, Oscar Hammerstein Sr. (1846-1919) made a fortune in the tobacco industry and then devoted his life to the theater. Hammerstein built eleven opulent theater houses during his lifetime, including the Manhattan Opera House in 1906, and the Philadelphia Opera House on North Broad Street in 1908. He is the grandfather of Oscar Hammerstein II, famous lyricist of the musical writing team Rodgers and Hammerstein.

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