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Norman Gimbel, award-winning lyricist, died at the age of 91 years

Lyric writer Norman Gimbel in 2011Image copyright
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Norman Gimbel, Oscar-winning and Grammy lyricist, died at the age of 91, his family announced.

Gimbel's works include Killing Me Softly with his Song – recorded by Roberta Flack, the Fugees and others – and the TV series theme Happy Days.

He also wrote English lyrics for the Brazilian melody of bossa nova, The Girl from Ipanema.

Gimbel died on December 19 at his home in Montecito, California, his son Tony Gimbel told The Hollywood Reporter.

The BMI music rights organization said it was "very sad" with the news of Gimbel's death. It describes him as "a truly talented and productive writer" who will be missed by friends and fans.

Norman Gimbel was born in Brooklyn and began his career with music publishers David Blum and Edwin H Morris. His initial success included the lyrics for the 1956 hit Andy Williams Canadian Canadian single.

He is best known for his work in film and television, writing songs for popular shows such as Laverne & Shirley, Wonder Woman and HR Puffnstuff.

Gimbel formed a long-term collaboration with composer Charles Fox and they both won a Grammy Award in 1973 for Killing Me Softly.

He and composer David Shire shared the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1997 for It Goes Like It Goes, sung by Jennifer Warnes in the film Norma Rae.

In 1984 Gimbel was appointed as Songwriter Hall of Fame.

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