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Zorach, Williamlocked

(28 February 1889–15 November 1966)
  • Roberta K. Tarbell


Zorach, William (28 February 1889–15 November 1966), sculptor, was born Zorach Samovich in Eurberich, Lithuania, then a part of czarist Russia, the son of a flaxmaker and barge keeper. His father’s name was probably Orchick Samovich; his mother’s was probably Toba Getal. In 1892, when Zorach’s father and oldest brother fled to the United States to avoid the persecution of the Jews, the family lost its inherited land and home and assumed the name Finkelstein. A year later, Zorach, five siblings, and his mother emigrated from Russia. Two additional siblings were born in Port Clinton, Ohio, where the immigrant family lived until 1896, when they moved about seventy miles east to Cleveland. Zorach’s name was changed circa 1898 to William Finkelstein by a grade school teacher who found Zorach Finkelstein too difficult. He left school after the seventh grade (c. 1902) and worked at several menial industrial jobs because his family needed his wages. Determined to find a more creative occupation, he became an apprentice with the W. J. Morgan Lithograph Co., where he worked from 1902 to 1908, the summers of 1909 and 1910, and most of 1912....

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