Cahn was born Samuel Cohen in the Lower East Side of New York City. He learned how to play the piano and violin which gave him jobs playing for bands and orchestras before transitioning to songwriting, in which he collaborated with composers like Jules Styne, Saul Chaplin, Jimmy Van Heusen, and Johnny Mercer. Many of his compositions were nominated and won Academy Awards for Best Original Song such as "Three Coins in the Fountain" from the film of the same name, "All the Way" from The Joker Is Wild, "High Hopes" from A Hole in the Head, and "Call Me Irresponsible" from Papa's Delicate Condition. He would contribute musically to films like Anchors Aweigh, April in Paris, The Court Jester, The West Point Story, and Three Sailors and a Girl.
His other tunes include "Love and Marriage", "I'll Walk Alone", "Be My Love", "I'll Never Stop Loving You", "I Fall in Love Too Easily", "It's Magic", "Because You're Mine", "The Second Time Around", "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?", "Pocketful of Miracles", "My Kind of Town", "Thoroughly Modern Millie", "Star", "Christmas Is For Children", "All That Love Went to Waste", "Now That We're In Love", "The Christmas Waltz", "Come Fly with Me", "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow", "Papa, Won't You Dance with Me", and "The Secret of Christmas".
Cahn became a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. He later took over the presidency of that organization.
Cahn died on January 15, 1993, at the age of 79 in Los Angeles, California from heart failure. His remains were interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
|1942||Bambi||Music Department - uncredited|
|1953||Peter Pan||Lyrics: "The Second Star to the Right"|
"You Can Fly"
"What Made the Red Man Red?"
"Your Mother and Mine"
"The Elegant Captain Hook"