Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Hy Zaret
Hyman Harry Zaritsky

New York

Hyman Harry Zaritsky was born in Manhattan on August 21, 1907. His parents, Max Zaritsky and Dora Shiffman were Russian immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in the 1890s. Zaret legally changed his name in 1934.

Zaret attended public schools and was a graduate of West Virginia University and Brooklyn Law School. He practiced law, and then wrote and produced radio and television shows. Most of his life was devoted to writing songs. In his later years, he wrote poetry.

Zaret will be best remembered as a Tin Pan Alley lyricist, the composed of "Unchained Melody," a 1955 hit tht became one of the most frequently recorded songs of the 20th century. The song was originally written for a film, "Unchained." "Unchained Melody" has been recorded ore than 300 times (according to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).

[Sources: Douglas Martin, "Hy Zaet, 99, Tin Pan Alley Lyricist, Is Dead," New York Times, July 3, 2007; "'Unchained Melody' Writer Hy Zaret Dies," Associated Press (Westport, Conn.), July 3, 2007, on the NPR website]

Hy Zaret