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David Sarnoff

Date of Birth:



Russian Federation


David Sarnoff was born on February 27, 1891, in the Russian-Jewish community of Uzilan near Minsk. In 1895 his father went to try his luck in the United States; After 5 years he moved his family. When my father died in 1906, David, as the eldest son, became the breadwinner of the family. He started out as a messenger boy for the Wireless Trading Company. Six months later he became an office boy for the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America. Learning from his spare time, Sarnoff was eventually elevated to the operator without a cord. While working at Sea Gage, N.Y., he graduated from electrical engineering at the Pratt Institute and later gained practical experience as a marine radio officer on various ships. He became an employee of the John Wanamaker station in New York, where he was the first to receive the SS Titanic call on April 12, 1912. This unfortunate event was rewarding for Sarnoff, as his volunteer work in disaster earned him an appointment as a radio newsman and lecturer at the Marconi Institute. By 1914 he had risen to become contract manager, and in 1919, when Owen D. Young's Radio Corporation of America (RCA) took over for America Marconi, Sarnoff was a commercial manager. In 1917 he married Lizette Hermant, who bore him three sons. In 1921 Sarnoff was general manager of the RCA and had renewed the idea of ​​sending music on the air. RCA directors were reluctant to invest a fortune, but after the Sarnoff broadcast the 1921 Dempsey-Cartier Festival, they changed their minds immediately. Sarnoff became the opposition president in 1922 as the RCA began the production of radio broadcasts. He was also responsible for the founding of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in 1926. Sarnoff is known as the father of American television. From early research in the early 1920s, he encouraged his advances in the field of commercial power. As president of the RCA (since 1930), he appeared on the first public television show, in April 1939. Although NBC introduced commercial broadcasting in 1941, World War II stopped its growth. Sarnoff previously worked as a communications consultant for Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and became brigadier general. In 1947 Sarnoff became chairman of the board of the RCA, which grew into one of the world's largest corporations, whose roles included leadership in black and white and colored television and many other related activities. He has received honors at more than 26 universities and numerous awards from foreign governments and professional institutions. He died on December 12, 1971, in New York City.

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