- James Fisher
Milestone, Lewis (30 September 1895–25 September 1980), film director, screenwriter, editor, and producer, was born Lewis Milstein in Kishinëv, near Odessa, Russia, the son of Emanuel Milstein, a clothing manufacturer. His mother’s name is unknown. Milestone attended Jewish schools. His family was disturbed when he showed an avid interest in acting, so after he completed high school he was sent to study engineering at a college in Saxony. When his father sent him money to travel home for the holidays in 1913, Milestone instead used the funds to immigrate to the United States with two school friends. They arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey, with a mere six dollars among them. Milestone was assisted financially by an aunt for a brief time but ended up working at odd jobs (factory sweeper for a raincoat manufacturer, salesman, photographer’s assistant) until he became an American citizen. With the country’s entry into World War I, he joined the Army Signal Corps to work stateside as an assistant director of training films....