According to a statement made by Jeffrey Sherman, his father Robert B. Sherman has died at the age of 86.
Statement from Jeffrey Sherman:
Hello to family and friends,
I have very sad news to convey.
My Dad, Robert B. Sherman, passed away tonight in London. He went peacefully after months of truly valiantly fending off death. He loved life and his dear heart finally slowed to a stop when he could fight no more.
I will write more about this incredible man I love and admire so much when I am better rested and composed. He deserves that.
In the meantime, please say a prayer for him. As he said, he wanted to bring happiness to the world and, unquestionably, he succeeded. His love and his prayers, his philosophy and his poetry will live on forever. Forever his songs and his genius will bring hope, joy and love to this small, small world.
I love you, Dad.
Born on December 19, 1925 Robert B. Sherman was born into music. His parents didn’t know how they were going to pay for bills incurred by having a baby but his father Al Sherman received a royalty check on his song “Save Your Sorrow” which went to pay those bills and be the first connection that Robert B. Sherman would have to music. A couple years later, his younger brother Richard was born who would partner with him to create one of the most successful musical duos of all time. As a child, he learned to play both violin and piano. He also wrote music and poetry. By high school he was writing and producing radio and stage shows.
At age 17 Robert B. Sherman enlisted in the United States Army. Two years later he’d find himself in Europe, leading a squad of men as they were among the first to enter the Dachau Concentration Camp as liberators. That year, he was shot in the knee on the day that F.D. Roosevelt died. As a result of this he was forced to walk with a cane for the rest of his life. During his recovery in Great Britain, he grew to know and love the British culture.
After the war, he returned to the United States and went to college. His father challenged him to write songs with his brother Richard and the early fifties saw the beginning of this musical collaboration. The early fifties also found him settling down and marrying Joyce Ruth Sasner.
As the fifties progressed, the collaboration between Robert and his brother Richard progressed as well. They were noticed by Walt Disney in 1958 after Annette Funicello sang their song, “Tall Paul.” This led to them being hired on as Staff Writers for the Walt Disney Studios. While working for Walt Disney Studios, they wrote some of the most well known and beloved songs of all time. In 1964 they wrote “It’s a Small World” for the New York World’s Fair. A year later they won two Academy Awards for their work on Mary Poppins. In the coming years, Robert contributed to the writing of classic movies like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, The Parent Trap, Charlotte’s Web, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and countless others. He also helped write several musicals for the stage that were incredibly successful. Both Mary Poppins and also Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were included in this.
Outside of the realm of show business, Robert B. Sherman was a talented artist. He majored in Painting and Literature from Bard College and continued painting ever since. This was kept private except for family and close friends until 2002 when he had an exhibition of his artwork in London. He also showed his other artistic abilities as a metal sculptor, poet, and author in his later years of life.
Robert B. Sherman was married to Joyce Ruth Sasner in 1953. They went on to live a full life together until her death in 2001. Along the way they had four children: Laurie Shane, Jeffrey Craig, Andrea Tracy and Robert Jason.
On a personal note, I had the opportunity to interview his son Jeffrey when The Boys was released. Robert B. Sherman leaves behind him a rich and beautiful legacy not only in his musical and artistic talents, but also in his family. Speaking to Jeffrey I could hear the love this man had for his father. Truly there is no greater legacy than that to leave behind. Robert B. Sherman will be missed and his loss felt by many different people. However, his legacy will continue on strong. Tonight he is reunited with the love his life and I’m sure as they look back on those they left behind, they are blessed. For all those who are left behind were certainly blessed by him.
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