Tom Jones

Tom Jones, the author of the script and lyrics for the Broadway musical The Fantasticks, which became the longest-running musical in history, has died. He was 95. He died on Friday at his home in Sharon, Connecticut, following a battle with cancer, according to his son Michael.

Jones, who was born on February 17, 1928 in Littlefield, Texas, attended the University of Texas in 1945 to study acting, where he met his longtime partner Harvey Schmidt. Jones and Schmidt enlisted in the Korean War after getting master’s degrees a few years earlier.

After serving in the military, Jones relocated to New York City to pursue a career in theater. One of his initial options was to collaborate with composer John Donald Robb. He and Robb also wrote the musical Joy Comes to Deadhorse, which was loosely based on Edmond Rostand’s 1894 play Les Romanesques. However, due to aesthetic differences, the two split up, with Jones continuing to work on the musical.

Later, Jones asked his friend Schmidt, with whom he had kept in touch during their time in the service, to help him finish the musical that became known as The Fantasticks.