Jack Tramiel

Jack Tramiel

Infobox Person
name = Jack Tramiel

image_size =
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birth_name = Idek Trzmiel
birth_date = 13 December 1928
birth_place = Łódź, Poland
death_date =
death_place =
death_cause =
nationality =
known_for = Commodore founder; Atari Corp. CEO
occupation =
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networth =
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party =
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religion =
spouse = Helen (1947-present)
children = 3

website =

Jack Tramiel (born 13 December 1928) is a businessman, best known for founding Commodore Internationalcite web|url=http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-9832092-52.html|title=Woz, meet Jack Tramiel|last=Terdiman|first=Daniel |publisher=CNET Networks, Inc.|accessdate=2008-09-28] - manufacturer of the Commodore PET, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Commodore Amiga, and other Commodore models of home computers. He is known for his hard-driving style and cutthroat deal-making.


Tramiel was born as Idek Trzmiel in Łódź, Poland.cite web|url=http://www.nndb.com/people/093/000136682/|title=Jack Tramiel|publisher=NNDB|accessdate=2008-09-28]

After the Nazi invasion in 1939 his family was transported to the Jewish ghetto in Łódź, where he worked in a garment factory. When the ghettos were liquidated his family was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was examined by Dr. Mengele and selected for a work party, after which he and his father were sent to the labor camp Ahlem near Hanover, while his mother remained at Auschwitz. While in the labor camp his father died from typhus, although Tramiel claims that he was killed by a Nazi injection of gasoline. Tramiel was rescued from the labor camp in April 1945 by the 84th Infantry Division.

In November 1947, Tramiel emigrated to the United States. He soon joined the army, where he learned how to repair office equipment, including typewriters.


In 1953, while working as a taxi driver, he bought a shop in the Bronx to repair office machinery,cite web|url=http://www.commodore.ca/history/company/chronology_portcommodore.htm|title=Chronological History of Commodore Computer|publisher=Up & Running Technologies Incorporated|accessdate=2008-09-28] and named it Commodore Portable Typewriter. Tramiel secured a $25,000 loan for the business from a U.S. Army entitlement.cite web|url=http://www.commodore.ca/history/people/1989_you_dont_know_jack.htm|title=You Don't Know Jack!|publisher=Running|accessdate=2008-09-28]

Tramiel started a business importing typewriters from Europe, and in 1955, to circumvent import restrictions, he set up Commodore Business Machines in Toronto. Tramiel wanted a military-style name for his company, but names like Admiral and General were already taken, so he settled on the Commodore name.cite web
title = As Commodore 64 Turns 25, Founders Reminisce
publisher = www.pcmag.com
date= 1994-03-29
url = http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,2231499,00.asp
accessdate = 2007-12-14

In 1962, Commodore went public, but Tramiel remained head of Commodore until the mid-1980s. During this time, Commodore migrated from selling calculators to home computers, including the Commodore 64, which launched in 1982.

Tramel Technology and Atari Corporation

On 13 January 1984, Tramiel resigned from Commodore. After a short break from the computer industry, he formed a new company named Tramel Technology, Ltd., in order to design and sell a next-generation home computer.cite web
title =Time Warner Companies Inc, et al. · SC 13D/A
publisher =www.secinfo.com
date= 3/29/94
url =http://www.secinfo.com/dMESy.bd.htm
accessdate = 2007-12-06
] The reason the company name was spelled "Tramel" was to help ensure that it would be pronounced correctly (i.e., "tra - mel" instead of "tra - meal").cite web|url=http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2007/12/20/a_few_words_with_jack_tramiel_and_the_commodore_64_gang/|title=A few words with Jack Tramiel and the Commodore 64 gang|last=Takahashi|first=Dean |publisher=Media News Group|accessdate=2008-09-28]

On 3 July 1984, Tramel Technology bought the Consumer Division of Atari Inc. from Warner Communications, which had fallen on hard times, due to the video game crash of 1983. TTL was then renamed Atari Corporation.

In the late 1980s, Tramiel decided to step away from day-to-day operations at Atari; naming his son Sam, President and CEO. In 1995, Sam would have a heart attack, forcing his father to return to oversee operations.

In 1996, Tramiel decided to sell Atari to disk-drive manufacturer Jugi Tandon Storage in a reverse merger deal. The newly merged company was named JTS Corporation, and Jack Tramiel joined the JTS board.


External links

* [http://www.commodore.ca/history/people/1989_you_dont_know_jack.htm "You Don't Know Jack" at a Commodore History Site]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/LowEndCo1985 1985 episode of "The Computer Chronicles"] featuring an extended interview with Tramiel
* [http://www.commodoregaming.com/pcshop/Vintage+C64/On+the+Edge+articles/The+Color+Computers+-+1979+to+1980.aspx The Color Computers - 1979 to 1980] — Excerpt from the book "On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore" (2005), Variant Press. (ISBN 0-9738649-0-7) documenting Tramiel's involvement with Commodore.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jack Tramiel — (2007) Jack Tramiel (* 13. Dezember 1928 in Łódź, Polen; eigentlich Idek Tramielski) ist polnisch amerikanischer Unternehmer und Computerhersteller. Biographie 1944 wurde Tramiel als Jude von den Nationalsozialisten ins …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jack Tramiel — en 2007 Jack Tramiel, de son vrai nom Idek Tramielski (né en 1928 à Łódź en Pologne), est un homme d affaires américain qui a fondé Commodore International en 1954 avant de prendre la tête d Atari en 1984 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jack Tramiel — (nacido en 1928) es un hombre de negocios, famoso por fundar Commodore International, el fabricante de Commodore PET, Commodore 64, y los ordenadores personales Commodore Amiga, y después presidente y CEO de Atari Corp. Es conocido por su difícil …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tramiel — Jack Tramiel (2007) Jack Tramiel (* 13. Dezember 1928 in Łódź, Polen; eigentlich Idek Tramielski) ist amerikanisch polnischer Unternehmer und Computerhersteller. Biographie 1944 wurde Tramiel von den Nationalsozialisten ins KZ Auschwitz… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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