Lesley Gore

Mini Bio

Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Died in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth Name Lesley Sue Goldstein
Height 5′ 2″ (1.57 m)

Biography of Lesly Gore


Lesley Gore was born Lesley Sue Goldstein in Brooklyn, New York City, to Ronny and Leo Goldstein, a manufacturer of children’s clothes and swimwear. Her family was Jewish. She grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey. Gore hit the music scene at 17 years of age in 1963 with the teen anthem “It’s My Party”. Born in Brooklyn (Kings County), New York, she was discovered at a party by legendary producer Quincy Jones, who signed her to Mercury Records and produced “It’s My Party”. More hits followed: “Judy’s Turn to Cry”, “She’s a Fool”, “That’s the Way Boys Are”, and the surprisingly (for the times) feminist-oriented “You Don’t Own Me”. She branched out from recording and began appearing on stage in summer stock, and putting in appearances in movies and television shows (including one on the TV series Batman (1966), which just happened to be produced by her uncle Howie Horwitz). In 1981, she was nominated for an Academy Award with her brother Michael Gore, for Best Song for the film Fame (1980). “Out Here on My Own” was bested for the award by another song from the same film – the theme song, written by her brother and Dean Pitchford In her later life, she toured and recorded in addition to appearing in summer stock productions. Gore died at the age of 68.

Parents Leo Goldstein
Ronny Gore
Discovered by producer Quincy Jones while singing at a hotel in Manhattan. He went on to produce her most successful recordings, including “It’s My Party”, which spent two weeks at #1 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart and three weeks on its R&B chart (USA) in June 1963.
She died of lung cancer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, NYC. She was diagnosed with a tumor on her spine in January 2015.
Older sister of Michael Gore.
Inspired a storyline for the movie Grace of My Heart (1996) in which a 1960s bubble-gum singer is shown to be a closet lesbian. Coincidentally, Lesley helped with music for the movie, and in the movie the closet lesbian singer records a song Lesley herself recorded, “Secret Love”.
When she was 11 years old her parents took her to her first Broadway musical, “My Fair Lady”. She loved it so much that she asked her parents to see it again and again.
Is mentioned in the song “Life Is a Rock But the Radio Rolled Me” by Reunion.
Cousin of Alan Dean Foster and Jana Howard.
Cousin-in-law of Neil Bagg.
Second cousin of Olivia Howard Bagg and August Bagg.
Studied literature and drama at Sarah Lawrence College.
She was the only female solo act to perform on the star-studded The T.A.M.I. Show (1964), one of the first big rock venues of the 1960s. Her million-seller “You Don’t Own Me”, which she performed on that show, predated the era of Women’s lib. That song has gained a new life recently, with its inclusion in a women’s sportswear commercial.
As a recording artist, had four consecutive Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart starting in 1963.
She was survived by Lois Sasson, her partner of 33 years.
She was inducted into the 2021 New Jersey Hall of Fame in the performing arts category.

You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore

You don’t own meI’m not just one of your many toysYou don’t own meDon’t say I can’t go with other boys

And don’t tell me what to doDon’t tell me what to sayAnd please, when I go out with youDon’t put me on display ’cause

You don’t own meDon’t try to change me in any wayYou don’t own meDon’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay

I don’t tell you what to sayI don’t tell you what to doSo just let me be myselfThat’s all I ask of you

I’m young and I love to be youngI’m free and I love to be freeTo live my life the way I wantTo say and do whatever I please

And don’t tell me what to doOh, don’t tell me what to sayAnd please, when I go out with youDon’t put me on display

I don’t tell you what to sayOh, don’t tell you what to doSo just let me be myselfThat’s all I ask of you

I’m young and I love to be youngI’m free and I love to be free

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