Adolph Zukor

Adolph Zukor

Infobox actor
name = Adolph Zukor

image_caption = Adolph Zukor, 2nd from left
birthdate = birth date|1873|1|7
location = Ricse, Hungary
deathdate = death date and age|1976|6|10|1873|1|7
deathplace = Los Angeles, California, United States
yearsactive = 1912 - 1959
spouse = Lottie Kaufman (1897-1956)
academyawards = Academy Honorary Award
1949 Lifetime Achievement

Adolf Zukor, born Adolph Cukor, (January 7, 1873 – June 10, 1976) was a film mogul and founder of Paramount Pictures.

He was born to a Jewish family in Ricse, Hungary, which was then a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. In 1889, at the age of 16, he emigrated to America. Like most immigrants, he began modestly. When he first landed in New York, he stayed with his family and worked in an upholstery shop. A friend got him a job as an apprentice at a furrier. Zukor stayed there for two years. When he left to become a "contract" worker, sewing fur pieces and selling them himself, he was nineteen years old and an accomplished designer. But he was young and adventuresome, and the 1892 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, commemorating Columbus's discovery of America, drew him to the Midwest. Once there, he started a fur business. In the second season of operation, Zukor's Novelty Fur Company expanded to twenty-five men and opened a branch.

One of the stubborn fallacies of movie history is that the men who created the film industry were all impoverished young vulgarians. Zukor clearly didn't fit this profile. By 1903, he already looked and lived like a wealthy young burgher, and he certainly earned the income of one. He had a commodious apartment at 111th Street and Seventh Avenue in New York City's wealthy German-Jewish section.

He became involved in the motion picture industry when in 1903 his cousin, Max Goldstein approached him for a loan. Mitchell Mark needed investors in order to expand his chain of similar theaters that begun in Buffalo, New York with Edisonia Hall. The arcade salon was to feature Thomas Edison's marvels: phonographs, electric lights and moving pictures. Zukor not only gave Goldstein the money but insisted on forming a partnership to open another one. Another partner in the venture was Marcus Loew.

In 1912, Adolph Zukor established Famous Players in Famous Plays as the American distribution company for the French film production "Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth" starring Sarah Bernhardt. The following year he obtained the financial backing of the Frohman brothers, the powerful New York City theatre impresarios. Their primary goal was to bring noted stage actors to the screen and they created the Famous Players Film Company that produced "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1913). The studio evolved into Famous Players-Lasky and then Paramount Pictures, of which he served as president until 1936 when he was elevated to chairman of the board. He revolutionized the film industry by organizing production, distribution, and exhibition within a single company.

Zukor was also an accomplished director and producer. He retired from Paramount Pictures in 1959 and thereafter assumed Chairman Emeritus status, a position he held up until his death at the age of 103 in Los Angeles.


*Zukor, Adolph, "The Public Is Never Wrong: My 50 Years in the Picture Industry" (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1953)
*Balaban, David. "The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz," Arcadia Publishing, 2006.

External links

* [ Obituary, NY Times, June 11, 1976 "Adolph Zukor Is Dead at 103; Built Paramount Movie Empire"]
*imdb name|id= 0958532
* [ Theatre Historical Society of America] - official site
* [ Balaban and Katz Historical Foundation] Official Website of Balaban and Katz. Photos of Balaban and Katz Theatres and corporate information.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Adolph Zukor — (* 7. Januar 1873 in Ricse, Ungarn; † 10. Juni 1976 in Los Angeles, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Filmproduzent, der Paramount zu einem der erfolgreichsten Filmstudios machte. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Filmografie (Auswahl) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Zukor — Adolph Zukor (* 7. Januar 1873 in Ricse, Ungarn; † 10. Juni 1976 in Los Angeles, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Filmproduzent, der Paramount zu einem der erfolgreichsten Filmstudios machte. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ZUKOR, ADOLPH — (1873–1976), U.S. motion picture executive. Born in Ricse, Hungary, Zukor went to the U.S. in 1888. He worked in New York and Chicago in the fur business. At first Zukor was interested in motion pictures from the business point of view and opened …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Zukor —   [ zukɔː], Adolph, amerikanischer Filmunternehmer ungarischer Herkunft, * Ricse (Bezeichnung Borsod Abaúj Zemplén) 7. 1. 1873, ✝ Los Angeles (Calif.) 10. 6. 1976; kam 1888 in die USA und begann 1903 als Schausteller mit Guckkästen. Mit Marcus… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Zukor, Adolph — ▪ American motion picture producer born Jan. 7, 1873, Ricse, Hung. died June 10, 1976, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.       American entrepreneur who built the powerful Famous Players–Paramount motion picture studio.       Immigrating to the United… …   Universalium

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