Born in Philadelphia, David Raksin was an American composer of film music and lecturer in film music at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. He studied composition at the University of Pennsylvania, New York and later in Los Angeles with Arnold Schoenberg.
Raksin is considered to be one of the most important composers in American film history. Altogether, he wrote the music for more than 170 feature films and 300 television movies. One of his most famous works is the theme song of the film classic Laura which was created in 1944, directed by Otto Preminger. This tune was released as a song and is the second most recorded song in history. Also worth mentioning are the scores to The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and the Late Western Will Penny, starring Charlton Heston, released in 1968.
The last years of his life, Raksin was sick and suffering from Alzheimer‘s at an early stage. He died at the age of 92, 2004, in Los Angeles. David Raksin is the father of journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Raksin.