American composer and conductor Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini was born in Cleveland on this day in 1924.
Mancini played the piccolo and piano as a child, and played the flute with his father in an Italian immigrant music group called "Sons of Italy". Mancini enrolled at Juilliard and left after a year when he was drafted to the US Army and participated in the liberation of the Austrian Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.
Following his service, Mancini began writing music for feature films at Universal Pictures and performing with orchestras.
His best-known compositions include the theme song to "The Pink Panther", the unforgettable standard "Moon River" ("Breakfast at Tiffany's"), the theme to the Peter Gunn show, and the scores to Terence Young's "Wait Until Dark", and Steve Donen's "Charade", among others.