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Bing Crosby

Harry "Bing" Crosby; Popular singer & actor; Born: May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, WA; Died: October 14, 1977 near Madrid, Spain

Headshot of Bing Crosby

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


  • Gonzaga High School, 1920
  • Pre-law student at Gonzaga University, 1920-1922

Harry L. "Bing" Crosby grew up in Spokane, WA. At the Jesuit-run Gonzaga High School there, he pursued the Classical Course, which means he studied Latin and Greek for several years. He may be the only major popular singer in the United States with a classical education.

After high school, he attended Gonzaga University, intending to become a lawyer. As a student he bought a drum set by mail order and became such an accomplished drummer that he was invited to join a local band, the "Musicaladers". Soon he felt he could make more money as a musician than as a lawyer, and so he decided to drop out of college in his senior year. This turned out to be prescient: His net worth later was estimated at ranging between 80 and 100 million dollars.

From 1926 to his death, Bing Crosby recorded more than 1,700 songs and played in numerous popular movies. His best-known recording is the Irving Berlin song "White Christmas", from the 1942 movie "Holiday Inn", which, according to Guinness World Records, remains the best-selling single of all time, selling more than 100 million copies worldwide, including 50 million singles.

Willamette University

Classical Studies

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6077 voice
503-370-6944 fax