Musician instrumental in developing the stride piano style with James P. Johnson. He had huge hands capable of reaching a fourteenth.
He was a member of ragtime and jazz bandleader James Reese Europe's tour through France and the UK during the first World War.
He was a shrewd businessman and investor and made many wise real estate dealings, becoming a millionaire twice over.
He was born in Philadelphia. His parents raised him to be a Quaker, and he never diverged.
His composition "Moonlight Cocktail" became a best-selling record during 1942 for the Glenn Miller Orchestra.