William “Billy” Strayhorn was an African-American jazz composer, pianist, lyricist, and manager. Strayhorn was born on November 29, 1915, in Dayton, Ohio.
Strayhorn is one of the greatest composers that lived during the Harlem Renaissance. He collaborated with Duke Ellington for over 30 years and produced some of the best pieces in musical history. Some of the songs that he wrote for Ellington were "Take the 'A' Train" (1939), "Something to Live For" (1939), "Chelsea Bridge" (1941), and"Lotus Blossom" (1959). Strayhorn will go down in history as one of the greatest composers and songwriters. He died on May 31, 1967, in New York City from esophageal cancer and his ashes were scattered in the Hudson River.