John Kander graduated from Oberlin College. He began his Broadway career as rehearsal pianist for Gypsy, for which he also did the dance arrangements. His first produced musical was A Family Affair, written with James Goldman and William Goldman. In 1962 he teamed up with John Kander to write Flora the Red Menace, produced by Hal Prince, directed by George Abbott, and with book by George Abbott and Robert Russell, in which Liza Minnelli made her initial Broadway appearance. Kander and Ebb have since been associated with writing material for Minnelli and for Chita Rivera, and have produced special material for their appearances live and on television.
Their musicals Cabaret and Chicago have been made into films.