Ken Hart

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Ken Hart (May 7, 1917 – February 12, 2006) was an American World War II pilot, publisher, composer, actor, editor, lobbyist, writer, disc jockey and campaign manager.


He was born in Long Beach, New York and died in Frankfort, Kentucky.

In 1942, Lieutenant Ken Hart and Corporal Bert Gold, both natives of Long Beach, New York serving in the United States Army, co-wrote "Dogface Soldier",[1] a song that became widely popular during and after World War II, and used as a soundtrack in the 1955 film "To Hell and Back" starring Audie Murphy.


Lt. Hart served as a pilot and with the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division during World War II. After the war, he held the positions of Vice President and General Manager of radio station WLAP[2] in Lexington, Kentucky. He had one son by Rita Lannon, the met and married Jane Hart, and had another son and a daughter.

Ken and Jane Hart were both in the public eye and public service of Kentucky for decades. Publisher of the Kentucky Coal Journal, Ken Hart also worked for the State Journal[3] for many years. He was involved in the theater life of Frankfort, Kentucky as a playwright and actor.

"Dogface Soldier"[edit]

Hart and Gold wrote Dogface Soldier "out of respect to the grunts that pride we Americans... in every conflict."[4][citation needed]

This song's instrumental music served as the theme song for the 1956 movie "To Hell and Back", the story of Audie Murphy, America's most decorated hero. The song was originally intended for the US Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

In 19__[citation needed] the Kentucky History Center[5] dedicated a memorial to "Dogface Soldier"; the memorial is permanently displayed at the center in Frankfort, Kentucky.