Sarnoff, David

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b. 27 February 1891 Uzlian, Minsk (now in Belarus)
d. 12 December 1971 New York City, New York, USA
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Russian/American engineer who made a major contribution to the commercial development of radio and television.
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As a Jewish boy in Russia, Sarnoff spent several years preparing to be a Talmudic Scholar, but in 1900 the family emigrated to the USA and settled in Albany, New York. While at public school and at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, he helped the family finances by running errands, selling newspapers and singing the liturgy in the synagogue. After a short period as a messenger boy with the Commercial Cable Company, in 1906 he became an office boy with the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America (see G. Marconi) . Having bought a telegraph instrument with his first earnings, he taught himself Morse code and was made a junior telegraph operator in 1907. The following year he became a wireless operator at Nantucket Island, then in 1909 he became Manager of the Marconi station at Sea Gate, New York. After two years at sea he returned to a shore job as wireless operator at the world's most powerful station at Wanamaker's store in Manhattan. There, on 14 April 1912, he picked up the distress signals from the sinking iner Titanic, remaining at his post for three days.
Rewarded by rapid promotion (Chief Radio Inspector 1913, Contract Manager 1914, Assistant Traffic Manager 1915, Commercial Manager 1917) he proposed the introduction of commercial radio broadcasting, but this received little response. Consequently, in 1919 he took the job of Commercial Manager of the newly formed Radio Corporation of America (RCA), becoming General Manager in 1921, Vice- President in 1922, Executive Vice-President in 1929 and President in 1930. In 1921 he was responsible for the broadcasting of the Dempsey-Carpentier title-fight, as a result of which RCA sold $80 million worth of radio receivers in the following three years. In 1926 he formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Rightly anticipating the development of television, in 1928 he inaugurated an experimental NBC television station and in 1939 demonstrated television at the New York World Fair. Because of his involvement with the provision of radio equipment for the armed services, he was made a lieutenant-colonel in the US Signal Corps Reserves in 1924, a full colonel in 1931 and, while serving as a communications consultant to General Eisenhower during the Second World War, Brigadier General in 1944.
With the end of the war, RCA became a major manufacturer of television receivers and then invested greatly in the ultimately successful development of shadowmask tubes and receivers for colour television. Chairman and Chief Executive from 1934, Sarnoff held the former post until his retirement in 1970.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
French Croix de Chevalier d'honneur 1935, Croix d'Officier 1940, Croix de Commandant 1947. Luxembourg Order of the Oaken Crown 1960. Japanese Order of the Rising Sun 1960. US Legion of Merit 1946. UN Citation 1949. French Union of Inventors Gold Medal 1954.
KF

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SARNOFF, DAVID — (1891–1971), U.S. electronics pioneer and executive. Sarnoff, who was born in Uzlian, Russia, was taken to the U.S. in 1900. A self taught telegrapher who had joined the Marconi Telegraph Company of America in 1906 as an office boy, Sarnoff was… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sarnoff, David — born Feb. 27, 1891, Minsk, Russia died Dec. 12, 1971, New York, N.Y., U.S. Russian born U.S. communications executive. After immigrating with his family to New York in 1900, he left school to work for the Marconi telegraph company. In 1912 he… …   Universalium

  • Sarnoff, David — (27 feb. 1891, Minsk, Rusia–12 dic. 1971, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Ejecutivo de la industria de las comunicaciones estadounidense de origen ruso. Después de emigrar con su familia a Nueva York en 1900, dejó la escuela para trabajar en la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sarnoff, David — (1891–1971)    US industrialist. As a boy Sarnoff was brought to the United States from Russia. He worked as a self taught telegraphist for the Marconi Telegraph Company, and picked up the last wireless message from the sinking Titanic in 1912.… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Sarnoff,David — Sar·noff (särʹnôf ), David. 1891 1971. American radio and television pioneer who proposed the first commercial radio receiver and in 1926 formed the National Broadcasting Company. * * * …   Universalium

  • Sarnoff, David — (1891 1971)    American broad casting executive, of Belorussian origin. Born in Minsk, Belorussia, he went to the US with his family in 1901. He worked as an office boy at Commercial Cable Company. Later he became commercial manager at the… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • David Sarnoff — David Sarnoff, 1922 Born February 27, 1891(1891 02 27) Uzlyany near Minsk, Russian Empire (now Belarus) …   Wikipedia

  • David Sarnoff — (1922) David Sarnoff (weißruss. Давід Сарноў, russ. Давид Сарнов; * 27. Februar 1891 in Uzlyany; † 12. Dezember 1971) war ein US amerikanischer Unternehmer und Pionier des kommerziellen Rundfunks. Er gründete die National Broadcasting Company… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • David — (rey de Israel) V. «lágrimas de David». * * * David. □ V. estrella de David, lágrimas de David. * * * Esta página se refiere al rey bíblico de Israel. Para otros significados del término véase David (desambiguación). David (דָּוִד Amado ) fue el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • David — /day vid/ for 1, 2, 5; Fr. /dann veed / for 3, 5; Sp. /dah veedh / for 4, 5, n. 1. died c970 B.C., the second king of Israel, reigned c1010 c970, successor to Saul: slayer of the Philistine giant Goliath. 2. Saint. Also called Dewi Sant. A.D.… …   Universalium

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