Bob (Robert) Merrill (born Henry Lavan May 17, 1921 or 1923- February 17, 1998) was an American composer and lyricist. His most famous works included "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?"
The IMDb says that Merrill was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Others sources say that he was born and raised in Philadelphia in 1923. In any case he moved to New York City and later to Hollywood.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s Merrill was responsible for penning a whole string of chart hits including "Pittsburgh", "Pennsylvania", "Love Makes the World Go 'Round", "Sparrow in the Tree Top", "My Truly, Truly Fair", and "Mambo Italiano". The last of which in particular remains a favorite, particularly in movies, to this day.
Merrill later returned to Broadway to pen musicals. His first major musical success was A NEW GIRL IN TOWN directed by George Abbott, which won a New York Drama Critic prize in 1964. His biggest hit was the Barbara Streisand vehicle FUNNY GIRL, which spawned the enduring "Don't Rain on My Parade" and "People".
Merrill became progressively more ill in the mid-1990s. He finally shot himself and died in February 1998.