He wrote the hit pop songs Escape (The Piña Colada Song) and Him, and also wrote the Tony Award-winning musical Drood.
He worked as a sessions musician while in his twenties.
His first novel, 2003's Where the Truth Lies, was adapted into a film directed by Atom Egoyan.
His father Leonard was a United States Army warrant officer and bandleader.
His musical Robin and the 7 Hoods was inspired by the 1964 Frank Sinatra film of the same name.