Howard Dietz was born in New York City on September 8, 1896. He briefly studied journalism at Columbia University, and then began working in advertising. After a stint in the Navy during World War I, he returned to advertising, doing ad and publicity work for several movie firms. In 1919, he joined Goldwyn Pictures Corporation as publicity director. In 1924, he became director of advertising and publicity for MGM, a position he held for over 30 years, rising to vice-president. He devised the company symbol, Leo the Lion, and its pseudo-Latin slogan, "Ars Gratia Artis".
In 1923, Dietz wrote the lyrics for an Arthur Samuels melody called "Alibi Baby," which was a hit in W.C. Fields’ stage show, Poppy. For the next few years, Dietz collaborated on several Broadway shows, including Dear Sir (1924), with Jerome Kern, and the revue Merry-Go-Round (1927).
Many of Dietz's greatest songs were written in collaboration with composer Arthur Schwartz, with whom he first worked on The Little Show in 1929 (songs from that production included "I Guess I'll I Have to Change My Plan”). Other notable songs written by Dietz and Schwartz are "Something to Remember You By" and “The Moment I Saw You” from Three’s a Crowd (1930). “Dancing in the Dark" from The Band Wagon (1931), "Alone Together" from Flying Colors (1932), "You and the Night and the Music" from Revenge With Music (1934), "By Myself," "Triplets," and "I See Your Face Before Me" from Between the Devil (1938).
After the 1938 show, Dietz and Schwartz dissolved their partnership for over a decade and Dietz concentrated on his work for MGM, also writing…