Don Black began his career as an office boy for the New Musical Express. He then worked in the advertising, circulation and editorial departments before embarking on a short-lived career as a stand up comedian. He played most of the famous music halls such as Collins, The Metropolitan, Edgware Road and the City Varieties, Leeds. He blames himself entirely for the death of variety!
Since he started writing lyrics he has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won the Oscar for his song “Born Free”. His many hit songs from films include “Ben”, “To Sir With Love”, “The Pink Panther Strikes Again”, “Diamonds Are Forever”, “Thunderball” and “True Grit”. He wrote the lyrics for the musical Billy, which ran for over two years at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and also Bar Mitzvah Boy with Broadway’s legendary Jule Styne. he has most recently completed the songs for the film Svengali starring Peter O’Toole which marks the singing debut of Jodie Foster. He has collaborated with Composer/Producer David Hentschel in creating a new story album for Marti Webb entitled “One Afternoon” for release this autumn. He is currently working on two musicals, Merlin, with composer Elmer Bernstein, to be produced on Broadway and Dear Anyone, with music by Geoff Stephens and book by Jack Rosenthal.
Don lives in London, is married to Shirley and has two sons, Grant and Clive.