"Those of us of whom chose the business of film - have often been poked fun of. Yet one thing is certain: every man who succeeded was a born showman. And once in show business he was never happy out of it." ~ Adolph Zukor
Adolph Zukor was born a Jewish boy, January 7th, 1873, in Ricse, Hungary. From a very early age, young Zukor was a money shaker & maker and, 'not afraid of getting his elbows dirty for an extra piece of money.' He envied his cousins for living in the land of opportunity. Much of his family had immigrated to America in the late 1860's, however, because of his fathers good job in Hungary - his father and mother stayed in Hungary. At the age of 16, young Zukor immigrated by himself to New York where he lived with family and landed work as an upholsterer. He quickly moved his way to supervisor because of his 'creative eye' for making the 'old' look 'new!' His reputation for this spread quickly and he was soon working for himself. By age 19, he was an accomplished, proven, designer unlike any other. He lived here...clearly he was not having money problems...cleeeaarly!!
Chaplin called him a 'genteel little fellow.. small in stature - big in character..' Very business minded (in film & finance).. & very gentle, but to the point! In other words - he knew what he wanted to say - & got it across QUICK!
Chicago was 'the' mecca, and Zukor wanted a piece of it. At age 20, he relocated to Chicago and started his own fur business there. Not long after he had been in Chicago...his cousin came to him in hopes of getting a loan from the thriving Zukor. The cousins idea included opening an entertainment arcade salon hosting Edison's widely popular phonographs, electric lights, and motion pictures. It was widely popular because everyone was fascinated with Edison's camera invention, but no one had a museum of this kinda sorts, of Edison memorabilia. Zukor not only lended the money... but demanded to be a part of it all. He considered the loan as a 50% investment, 50% loan. It was the first of its kind.. another young entrepreneur, Marcus Loew, was soon to follow suit. The venture was a huge hit and left Zukor wanting to do more in the way of entertainment, perhaps producing a stamp of his very own. This idea came to fruition in 1912, when Zukor formed Famous Players, Inc, which would distribute Zukor produced films...with a Zukor touch. Each film would be produced, and distributed, by Famous Players. This process was unheard of at the time. It was a unique revolution for the film industry in general. Upon the purchase of an old armoury in New York, Famous Players moved to New York and so did Zukor, again. This is where the Famous Players would call home (now Kaufman's Astoria Motion Picture and Television Center), well.. That waas until he met a fellow by the name of Jesse Lasky who had recently purchased land in Los Angeles for his studios. Not long after the meeting of the two, Zukor and Laskey merged their companies and Famous Players became Famous Players-Lasky and settled in California. It was one year later in a executive meeting, Lasky proclaimed, "it'll be PARAMOUNT..." over a film Famous Players-Lasky was working on. The film?? 'The Squaw Man,' and indeed - it would be! The studio Famous Players-Lasky, became Paramount. 'The Squaw Man', became the first ever full-length feature film. Many years and movies later...we now know it was a line that a powerful studio would come of. Zukor and Lasky together, were a Paramount team to say the least. Zukor was on top of his game!
For decades, Paramount would flourish with hit film after film. Zukor doted on the Studio, and gave tours... often to royalty and noteables. He retired in 1959, but continued as chairman of Paramount, as IT continued to grow. Then in 1965, became sit in chairman. Essentially meaning (in today's terms), he'll be at board meetings if it didn't interrupt his golf game or sexy time. Remember, by 1965, he would've been 92...a point in life other moguls would have (& HAVE), long since retired at.
He spent the final days of his life in a comfy posh condo, on Century Park East, (the gate entrance), and no doubt, having a ball (when awake.) He was reportedly lively & vibrant at age 100. Zukor, always the entertainer, at one point danced for house guests at the age of 101 with moves never seen by the 20 year olds at the party.😂 He lived virtually a stones throw from a fierce rival. Coincy-dink?? You decide!
Zukor died in his sleep, and was found by his housekeeper quote, 'dead, but with a smile on his face,' - in his condo, on the morning of June 10, 1976, at the tender young age of 103. RIP Mr Zukor! Your legacy is a great one indeed!! Virtually vist his grave and leave him some NON-WILTING flowers, & a comment, FoSho!
R.I.P. Mr Zukor.. Anyone who has ever watched & enjoyed a film - owes to you a BIG Thank You!!!