Founder of the landmark New York nightclub Birdland. He was prominent in New York's jazz scene during the 1940s and 1950s.
He served as artistic director of the Royal Roost and persuaded the owner to hire Miles Davis' nonet during the time that Davis was developing cool jazz.
He managed many of the great jazz artists of his day, among them Stan Getz and Sonnie Rollins.
He had a daughter and two stepchildren with his wife Roberta. He was married to singer and actress
He was a producer on Flip Wilson's television variety show.