Born in Washington D.C. in 1854, John Philip Sousa became know for composing popular marches and military themes. It's hard to say which of his fine qualities endeared him most to the millions in whose homes his name was a household world — his intense patriotism, his power to stir hearts with martial music or his consummate skill in conducting a band of national and international fame.
As the "March King" of America he has a place among the immortals. Whether it was the "Stars and Stripes Forever," "El Capitan" or "King Cotton" he knew how to stir emotions to the rhythm of his marching melodies; he was able through his aggregation of devoted musicians to make them speak the language of the common people.
If you've ever heard the theme from the British TV comedy show "Monty Python's Flying Circus," you've heard the Sousa march "The Liberty Bell."
Sousa was married to Jane van Middlesworth Bellis; they had three children.