Jazz artist who became known as the composer of the standard Lady Sings the Blues. He gained greater appreciation following his death.
He was a draftee in the Infantry during World War II.
He struggled to get a recording contract, lobbying Alfred Lion at Blue Note Records for a chance in 1947. He finally recorded in 1955, but many of these tracks weren't released until the 1980s.
His parents were from St. Kitts and Trinidad, but he was raised in Harlem.
He and Thelonious Monk became friends at Minton's Playhouse, one of the only good things to come from his experience there.