Talk:Irving Berlin

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Somebody (not me) wrote in the article:

(Author's note: I have found some discrepancies between various bio's on Berlin with regards to his early life, I'm not a Irving Berlin fan so I leave it for other more knowledgable than myself to tidy up)

Just thought I'd preserve it here.

Place of Birth[edit]

Irving Berlin's daughter, Mary Ellin Barrett, offers the following to support the claim that Berlin was born in Siberia: "Later-day research by my sister Linda [Emmett] indicates that my father was probably born in western Siberia, in Tyumen (sometimes given as Tumen or Temnun), which is what appears on documents from 1942 on. Confusion arose because the Baline family came from the village of Tolochin in Byelorussia. That was where... Moses and Leah [Berlin's parents] returned after their house burned, and from where they set out to America. Tolochin was in the township of the larger and better known Mogilev - and Mogilev was what... my father put on his naturalization papers and his marriage license. Sometime between 1925 and 1942 he must have had confirmation that he himself was indeed born in Siberia, that his father, an itinerant cantor, had migrated to Tyumen." [original italics]. Mary Ellin Barrett (1994). Irving Berlin: A Daughter's Memoir. Simon & Schuster. footnote on pp. 98-99. ISBN 1439170967. User:MackayWara 15:55, 23 May 2014

There seems to be no agreement about his place of birth. Half of the pages say it's Siberia. And half of the pages say it's Mahilyow (Mogilev), Belarus (then under Russian empire). --rydel 00:34, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There's no agreement on his draft registration cards, either, just so you know. (They're available at, if you've got a subscription.) On the card for World War I, he stated he was born in Mogilev. On his card for World War II, his place of birth switches to Tehmen.


added a "d" to richard "rogers" (now "rodgers"); the wrong one was linked.

family name[edit]

I've changed the family name back from "Beilin" to "Baline" on the authority of the book by Berlin's daughter, Mary Ellin Barrett. "Baline" is the form used by the family itself, in spite of whatever immigration officials wrote down. His name was spelled IRWING, not Irving... "w" is pronounced as a "v".

pictorial matter[edit]

In my revision of this article, several images have disappeared, including a portrait of Berlin on the cover of TIME magazine. These should be restored, but I don't know how to do this.