The son of a Madagascan prince, Andreamenentania Paul Razafinkerierfo (December 16, 1895 – February 3, 1973) was born in Washington, D.C. after his 15 year old mother and her father escaped from Madagascar during the French invasion that resulted in the death of his fater. Razaf grew up in Harlem, and dabbled in the music business (he his first song in 1913) before moving to Cleveland to play baseball. By 1921 he was back in New York and the music business. He wrote the lyrics for Keep Shufflin' (1928), Hot Chocolates (1929), and Blackbirds of 1930, eac of which included memorable songs. Te most prolific African American writer of the songbook, Razaf co-wrote numerous hits including, with Fats Waller, "Honeysuckle Rose", "Ain't Misbehavin'", "How Can You Face Me" and "The Joint Is Jumpin". He also worked with Don Redman, Paul Denniker, James P. Johnson, Eubie Blake and William Weldon.
In the 1950’s Razaf began working as a newspaper columnist and continued in that profession until his death in 1973. In 1972 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.