with it from 1909–1913, eventually becoming its director.
Cole's Yale years were adventurous: he produced a number of student musicals and he also forged several important relationships that remained with him throughout his life. Most Yale classmates came to know him for the fight songs he composed, many of them are Yale classics still.
The years following Cole's graduation saw him attempt to study law at Harvard. The man who paid all of Cole's bills, his grandfather J.O. Cole, disapproved of men choosing careers in the arts; Grandfather Cole tried hard to convince Cole to become a lawyer. Even when Cole was young, J.O. tried to instill a sense of rough individualism and business savvy that was lost on the pampered young Porter.
Although Cole started Harvard Law, his primary attention was always on music (including writing musicals for his Yale friends). Although his mother knew, Cole's grandfather didn't learn that Cole switched from the law school to the school of arts and sciences at Harvard in order to pursue music.
Eventually, Cole abandoned Harvard altogether and moved to the Yale club in New York to seriously began his music career. Porter's initial efforts on Broadway— including his first big show in 1916, See America First—were failures. The following year he moved to Paris where he joined the French Foreign Legion. He served three years, remaining in Paris after his 1919 discharge; he then married a society lady. The newlywed couple hosted glamorous parties in Paris, Venice and the Rivera.
Cole frequently performed his own music at these parties; indeed, the songs matched the chic esoteric mood of his social circle. Nevertheless, his music was slow to find acceptance on the stage. During the 1920s, his luck began to turn. In 1923 he composed a ballet score—performed