Benny Kubelsky was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 14, 1894.
He grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, and would later become Jack Benny.
As a young boy, he was encouraged by his Jewish immigrant parents
from Poland to achieve respectability as a violinist. He showed
enough talent to hit the vaudeville stage, where he played popular
songs, adopted a suave-but-fragile personality, and told self-deprecating
When columnist/broadcaster Ed Sullivan invited Benny on his program
on March 19, 1932, the persona was effective. Benny got his own
twice-weekly show later that year on CBS. His career also included
a long stay at NBC and a return to CBS through his final program
on May 22, 1955.
An all-star supporting cast including Bennys wife Mary Livingstone,
Eddie (Rochester) Anderson, Mel Blanc, Dennis Day, Phil Harris,
Frank Nelson and announcer Don Wilson, took to ribbing and verbally
jabbing the star.
Highly polished scripts kept hammering away on Bennys portrayal
of himself as a stingy and vain man, concerned about his receding
hairline and adamant that he was no older than 39.
Bennys immense popularity on radio led to his successful
transition to television.
Jack Benny died on December 26, 1974.
Jack Benny was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.
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