Morrie Ryskind, the librettist of LOUISIANA PURCHASE, was born in New York City in 1895 and graduated from the Columbia University School of Journalism. His principal collaborator in the theater was George S. Kaufman, with whom he wrote the Marx Brothers musical ANIMAL CRACKERS (1928). Ryskind and Kaufman teamed with George and Ira Gershwin to write the musical political satires STRIKE UP THE BAND (1930), OF THEE I SING (1931) and LET 'EM EAT CAKE (1933). Ryskind was also a successful journalist and Hollywood screenwriter, writing screenplays for The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, A Night at the Opera, My Man Godfrey, Stage Door, Penny Serenade and Where Do We Go From Here. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his collaboration on the libretto of the musical OF THEE I SING.