Harry Belafonte was born on 1 March 1927 in Harlem, New York, where he was christened Harold George Belafonte, Jr. His career as entertainer, singer, songwriter, actor and producer spans more than 60 years.
Harry Belafonte grew up in Harlem and on Jamaica where his mother was born. He is a drama graduate from Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop at the School of Social Research, yet rooted in the New York jazz scene he went on to become a popular singer-entertainer. He achieved world fame with his 1955 album Calypso, which was the first album to sell more than one million copies. He has since released more than 40 albums.
In the 1960s, Harry Belafonte became the first African-American producer and was awarded an Emmy for the TV show Tonight with Harry Belafonte. He has since produced and appeared in several movie and TV productions and enjoyed great success with White Man's Burden and Kansas City in the 1990s. Harry Belafonte has for many years shown great commitment to humanitarian causes and has especially sought to improve the living conditions for children in developing countries. He has received numerous honours and has been appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.