Joseph M. Schenck

Joseph M. Schenck

Film Studio Executive
Born Dec 25, 1878

Joseph Michael Schenck was a Russian-born American film executive. He played a key role in the development of the American film industry.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Joseph M. Schenck.


Born on December 25, 1878.


1893 14 Years Old 1 More Event
Born in Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia to a Jewish household, he and his family - including younger brother Nicholas - emigrated to New York City in 1893, he and Nicholas eventually got into the entertainment business operating concessions at New York's Fort George Amusement Park.


1909 30 Years Old 1 More Event
Recognizing the potential, in 1909 the Schenck brothers purchased Palisades Amusement Park and after that became participants in the fledgling motion picture industry as partners with Marcus Loew, operating a chain of movie theaters.
1916 37 Years Old 1 More Event
Through his involvement in the film business, in 1916 Joseph Schenck met and married Norma Talmadge, one of the top young stars with Vitagraph Studios. … Read More


1928 49 Years Old The Political Graveyard reports that he was an alternate delegate to the 1928 Republican National Convention from California.


1933 54 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1933 he partnered with Darryl F. Zanuck to create 20th Century Pictures that merged with Fox Film Corporation in 1935. … Read More
1934 55 Years Old The couple divorced in 1934 and Schenck then built a home in Palm Springs, California. … Read More


1952 73 Years Old 1 More Event
One of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in 1952 he was given a special Academy Award in recognition of his very significant contribution to the development of the film industry. … Read More
1957 78 Years Old 1 More Event
Joseph Schenck retired in 1957 and shortly after suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered.
1961 83 Years Old 1 More Event
He died in Los Angeles in 1961 at the age of 82 and was interred in Maimonides Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
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