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George Balanchine
Date: 1904 - 1983
Remarks: Helped found the School of American Ballet in 1934 after a prominent dance career in Europe. Later created the "New York City Ballet" in 1948. Directed the group until his death and choreographed 465 ballets, many of which are still performed today. Received one of the first Kennedy Center Awards, an Emmy, Knighthood in Denmark, a gold medal from the National Society of Arts and Letters, the French Legion of Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the French Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.