|Birth Day:||October 10, 1900|
|Death Date:||Dec 11, 2000 (age 100)|
|Birth Place:||Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine|
As per our current Database, Jack Liebowitz died on Dec 11, 2000 (age 100).
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He found his first work as an accountant in 1927 after graduating from New York University.
Jack Liebowitz was born Yacov Lebovitz in Proskurov, present-day Ukraine in October 1900, to a Jewish family. His mother, Mindl, never identified his biological father, her first husband (who had left the family), but married Yulyus Lebovitz when her son was three. Yacov soon adopted his stepfather's surname, and in 1910 the family emigrated to the United States. They arrived in the Jewish neighborhood of New York's Lower East Side and, as was common at the time, adopted Anglicized names: His parents became Julius and Minnie Liebowitz, while he became Jacob, soon shortened to Jack. Jack was a hardworking child and became a newsboy amongst other small jobs. In high school, he became adept at accountancy, a career he thought would help him escape his poor background.
In 1929, Julius Liebowitz approached Harry Donenfeld, whom he had befriended through ILGWU ties, and sought work for his son. Donenfeld, a rising businessperson who felt a sense of loyalty to those from the old neighborhood, took Jack on as his personal accountant. Although a chance meeting, the two men complemented each other very well — Donenfeld was a social, chance-taking high-flyer, while Liebowitz was cautious and had a logical mind that ensured Donenfeld's fiscal mistakes were small, and that his business promises were binding only in favor to himself.
When Liebowitz first worked for Donenfeld, the latter's empire was little more than a publishing house for "sex pulp" and art nudie magazines distributed by Eastern News, a company run by Charles Dreyfus and Paul Sampliner. In 1931, Eastern News faced bankruptcy and could no longer pay its publishers; the company owed Donenfeld alone $30,000. A compromise was called for, and Donenfeld, not wanting to find himself hamstrung by a distributor again, approached Sampliner with the idea of creating the Independent News Company, a publishing house with its own distribution system. As a publisher, Donenfeld had managed to dodge creditors and break deals, but as a distributor, he came to rely more on Liebowitz to ensure that the company ran smoothly. Liebowitz ensured bills were paid on time and began to build a trust with clients that Donenfeld's enterprises had never experienced.
In 1935, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson came to Independent News seeking a new distributor for the comic book projects his company, National Allied Publications, was producing. Although comic books were not Donenfeld's main field, he took on Wheeler-Nicholson, and Independent News began printing and distributing comic books. Wheeler-Nicholson brought out two comics, New Fun and New Comics—the former of historical note as the first modern comic book with all-original material, as opposed to newspaper-comic reprints with occasional, tangential new material—but it would be his third publication, Detective Comics, that would prove key. Already in considerable debt with Independent, Wheeler-Nicholson could only fund publication of Detective Comics by creating a subsidiary company — Detective Comics Incorporated—in partnership with Liebowitz.
In 1938, Donenfeld managed to remove Wheeler-Nicholson from the equation, pushing Detective Comics, Inc. into bankruptcy and buying its assets. As part of the bankruptcy action, Liebowitz—now sole owner of Detective Comics Inc.—bought up Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Publications, and Donenfeld and Liebowitz assumed control over the entire, growing comic-book publisher.
As the years went by, Liebowitz stayed at the forefront of new technologies and entertainment media, helping oversee Superman's transition to movie serials starring Kirk Alyn; to radio; and to theatrical animated shorts. Comics historian Gerard Jones described Liebowitz as the only comics publisher who "made any real effort to make the new medium [Television] work for him" when in 1951 producer Whitney Ellsworth brought the syndicated series Adventures of Superman to television.
In 1956 the comics market had shrunk by fifty percent compared to its early 1950 levels. When the American News Company was found guilty of restraint of trade in 1957 it was forced to divest itself of its newsstands. This caused George Delacorte of Dell Comics to a find a new distributor, and this in turn spelled the end of American News. Of those companies that had survived the early 1950s only half remained after the loss of such a large distributor. Liebowitz made three notable distribution acquisitions during this turmoil. The first was Martin Goodman's publishing company (whose staff would later form Marvel Comics), Bill Gaines's Mad magazine and Hugh Hefner's Playboy.
DC Comics went public in 1961, and became officially known as National Periodical Publications with Liebowitz remaining president of what was by then America's foremost comics publisher. Six years later, Kinney National Services acquired the company; the following year, Kinney also bought Warner Bros. to form Warner Communications.
In 1985, DC Comics named Liebowitz as one of the honorees in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great.
Liebowitz continued to be an active member of the Warner Communications board, visiting his office daily even into his 91st year, finally relinquishing his place in 1991.
Currently, Jack Liebowitz is 121 years, 3 months and 14 days old. Jack Liebowitz will celebrate 122nd birthday on a Monday 10th of October 2022.
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