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A Lifetime of Music

Mary Rodgers Guettel 48Composer, Author and Lyricist (1931-2014)

Mary Rodgers Guettel ‘48 was perhaps best known as the composer for the acclaimed Once Upon a Mattress, which premiered in 1959 and ignited her Broadway career, but her lengthy résumé included songwriter (“William’s Doll” and “Girl Land” on the iconic 1970s album Free to Be You and Me), author (award-winning 1972 children’s book Freaky Friday and its subsequent film release) and lyricist (theme song for Captain Kangaroo, in 1957). She served as chairwoman of Juilliard’s Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2011, and was one of the first two women to serve on the board of Exeter, from 1974 to 1987. The daughter of Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, Mary was also the mother of five children. She passed away on June 26, 2014.

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