Reference Entry

Sarnoff, David

Bethany Neubauer

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780195082098
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:
Sarnoff, David

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Sarnoff, David (27 February 1891–12 December 1971), media executive, was born in Uzlian in the Russian province of Minsk, the son of Abraham Sarnoff, a trader and house painter, and Leah Privin, a seamstress. When David was five, his father left for the United States and he was sent to live with an uncle. When his father sent money for his passage five years later, David rejoined the family and traveled to Canada in steerage, landing in Montreal and entering the United States by train in 1900. The Sarnoffs settled in the Lower East Side of New York City, and David entered school but also helped support the family by running errands for a local butcher, delivering newspapers, and singing soprano in a synagogue. He also studied at the Educational Alliance, quickly learning English. When he was fifteen his father died, and David left school for good; while he later received many honorary degrees, his formal education ended with eighth grade....

Reference Entry.  2153 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Radio ; Information and Communication Technologies

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