Al Hoffman was born on September 25, 1902 in Minsk, Russia (now Belarus). He moved with his parents to Seattle, Washington in the United States when he was 6.
Al Hoffman was a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame since 1984, was a hit songwriter active in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, usually co-writing with others and responsible for number one hits through each decade, many of which are still sung and recorded today. The popularity of Hoffman's song, "Mairzy Doats", co-written with Jerry Livingston and Milton Drake, was such that newspapers and magazines wrote about the craze. Time magazine titled one article "Our Mairzy Dotage". The New York Times simply wrote the headline, "That Song".
After graduating from high school in Seattle, Al Hoffman started his own band, playing the drums, and moved to New York City in 1928 to pursue a music career. Though he continued playing the drums in night club bands and selling bagels door-to-door on Broadway, he began writing songs, collaborating with such other songwriters as Leon Carr, Leo Corday, Mann Curtis, Mack David, Milton Drake, Al Goodhart, Walter Kent, Sammy Lerner, Jerry Livingston, Dick Manning, Bob Merrill, Ed Nelson, and Maurice Sigler.
Hoffman produced several hit songs including “Heartaches”, “I Apologize”, “Auf Wiedersehn, My Dear”, “Fit as a Fiddle”, “Black-Eyed Susan Brown”, “Who Walks in When I Walk Out?”, “I Saw Stars”, “Why Don’t You Practice What You Preach?”, “Little Man You’ve Had Busy Day”, “Roll Up the Carpet”, “I’m in a Dancing Mood”, “Without Rhythm”, “There Isn’t Any Limit to My Love” and “From One Minute to Another”.
In 1934 Al Hoffman moved to London to work on stage productions and movies, co-writing the hit songs "She Shall Have Music" and "Everything Stops For Tea". He returned to the USA three years later.
Hoffman's songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra ("Close To You", "I'm Gonna Live Until I Die"), Billy Eckstine ("I Apologize") Perry Como ("Papa Loves Mambo", "Hot Diggity"), Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong ("Who Walks In When I Walk Out"), Nat "King" Cole, Tony Bennett, the Merry Macs, Sophie Tucker, Eartha Kitt, Patsy Cline, Patti Page ("Allegheny Moon"), Bette Midler, and most everyone who was a star of that era. In October, 2007, Hoffman's "I'm Gonna Live Til I Die" was the lead single from Queen Latifah's album, "Trav'lin' Light".
In 1984 he was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall Of Fame. He has over 1,500 songs registered with ASCAP.
Al Hoffman died in New York City on July, 21 1960 of prostate cancer and is buried in New Jersey.
Ted Weems Orch. - Heartaches (1931), Decca 1938