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Samuel Bronfman

From Academic Kids

Samuel Bronfman (February 27, 1891 - July 10, 1971) was the founder of Seagrams and a Canadian family dynasty the Bronfman family.

Contents

Early life

Bronfman, who was one of eight children of Mindel and Ekiel Bronfman, who were from Soroki, Bessarabia. His parents were refugees who immigrated to Wapella, Saskatchewan in 1889, but soon moved to Brandon, Manitoba. In 1903, the family bought a hotel business, and Samuel, noting that much of the profit was in alcoholic beverages, set up shop as a distributor, founding the Distillers Corporation in Montreal in 1924.

His empire

He built an empire based on the appeal of brand names, including Calvert, Dewars, and Seven Crown, to higher level consumers, and merged with Joseph E. Seagram & Sons of Waterloo, Ontario in 1928.

His sales were boosted during the United States' abortive experiment with prohibition, and he was apparently able to do so while staying within the confines of both Canadian and American law, while dealing with unsavory characters and Chicago bootleggers.

His company, Seagram Co. Ltd., became an international distributor of alcoholic beverages, and is now a diversified conglomerate which includes an entertainment branch.

Family life

On June 20, 1922, he married Saidye Rosner (1897 - July 7, 1995). They had four children:

  1. Aileen Mindel "Minda" Bronfman de Gunzburg (1925 - 1986)
  2. Phyllis Lambert (born January 24, 1927)
  3. Edgar Miles Bronfman (born June 20, 1929)
  4. Charles Rosner Bronfman (born June 27, 1931)

Philanthropy

In 1952, he established the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation, one of Canada's major private granting foundations. He was president of the Canadian Jewish Congress from 1939 to 1962. In 1971, he helped to establish The Bronfman Building at McGill University which houses the School of Management.

Honours

He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1967.

References

  • 1979: King of the castle: The making of a dynasty : Seagram's and the Bronfman empire by Peter Charles Newman
  • 1991: Samuel Bronfman: The Life & Times of Seagram's Mr. Sam by Michael R. Marrus (ISBN 0874515718)

See also

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