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Abbey, Henry Eugene (27 June 1846–17 October 1896), theatrical and operatic manager and impresario, was born in Akron, Ohio, the son of Henry Stephen Abbey, a clockmaker and partner in a jewelry business, and Elizabeth Smith. After graduating with honors from Akron High School, where he showed a keen interest in music, Abbey worked in his father’s jewelry store until he launched his artistic management career in 1869 at the Sumner Opera House in Akron. In 1871 he became manager of the newly opened Akron Academy of Music, where he stayed for one season before moving to work first at John Ellsler’s Euclid Avenue Opera House in Cleveland and then as treasurer of the Ellsler Opera House in Pittsburgh. While still in Akron, Abbey and Ellsler managed the tours of the singing and dancing Worrell Sisters, ...

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Charlot, André (26 July 1882–20 May 1956), theatrical impresario, was born Eugene André Maurice Charlot in Paris, France, the son of Maurice Charlot, a journalist and theatrical manager, and Sargine Battu. After failing his exams at Paris’s Lycée Condorcet, Charlot gave up his dream of being a composer like his prizewinning grandfather and undertook an apprenticeship in Paris in theater management and public relations. In 1912 he assumed the managership of London’s Alhambra Theatre, anglicizing French spectacular topical revue. In 1908 he married Florence Gladman, one-half of an English sister act; they had two children....

Article

Hay, George Dewey (09 November 1895–08 May 1968), radio announcer, writer, and country music promoter, was born in Attica, Indiana, the son of George Hay, a jeweler and merchant, and Bertha Dewey. Growing up amid the cornfields of rural Indiana, Hay absorbed the ...

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Pastor, Tony (28 May 1832–26 August 1908), variety performer and impresario, was born Antonio Pastori in New York City, the son of Antonio Pastori, a theater violinist who also ran a fruit store and barber shop, and his wife (name unknown), who ran a perfumery and, for ten years after her husband’s death, a saloon. Pastor attended New York public schools, but by age eleven he was singing for a temperance group. At thirteen he was a blackface minstrel. In 1846 his father hoped to stop his career by sending him to live on a farm, but by the year’s end he was an “infant prodigy” at Barnum’s Museum in New York. Apprenticed to a circus, Pastor learned tumbling, riding, and mimicry; he became a clown and developed a “rube” act. From 1851 till its collapse in 1853 he was the Nathans-Sands Circus’s ringmaster....

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Redpath, James (24 August 1833–10 February 1891), journalist and entertainment impresario, was born in Berwick-on-Tweed, Scotland, the son of Ninian Davidson Redpath, a teacher, and Maria Main. After being educated in his father’s academy, Redpath emigrated with his family to the United States in 1849 and soon found work as a reporter for ...

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Stein, Jules Caesar (26 April 1896–29 April 1981), entertainment executive and physician, was born in South Bend, Indiana, the son of Louis M. Stein and Rosa Cohen. His extraordinary achievements began in the classroom. A student at West Virginia University while still in his early teens, he graduated from the University of Chicago at the age of nineteen. His medical degree was earned at Rush Medical College, Chicago, in 1921. He acquired a specialty in ophthalmology at the Eye Clinic of the University of Vienna and first practiced this as chief resident in ophthalmology at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and subsequently in an affiliation with Dr. Harry Gradle, also of Chicago. His depth of knowledge is revealed in “Telescopic Spectacles and Magnifiers as Aids to Poor Vision” (1924), which quickly became the definitive manual in this specialty....

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Wikoff, Henry (1811?–28 April 1884), author, publisher, and impresario, , kept the secret of his birthdate and parentage throughout his life. His guardian, Samuel Price Wetherwill, may have been his father; some contemporary accounts claimed he was the son of a Philadelphia doctor also named Henry Wikoff. Whatever the circumstances of his birth, money was available to provide Wikoff with a good education. He entered Yale in 1827 but was dismissed before he graduated. He eventually graduated from Union College in 1832. He also studied law and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1834....