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1930-01 Peppy Tales
1935-02 New Fun
1932-12 Spicy Stories
1940-04 Superman
1934-03 Pep Stories
1937-06 The Lone Ranger
1935-07 Real Screen Fun
1938-05 Jack Dempsey's
1934-03 Super Detective
1950-11 Pocket Detective
1935-10 Spicy Mystery
1952-11 Crime Smashers










Jacob "Jack" Solomon Liebowitz was born on October 10, 1900 in Proskurov, Russia. His father, whose name is unknown, was born around 1875 in Russia. His mother, Minnie, was born in 1882 in Russia. His parents were married in 1898, and were both of Jewish ancestry. During those turbulent years, Jewish communities in Russia were sporadically subject to organized persecution, violent expulsion, and murderous pogroms. During this upheaval, his father fled the region to an unknown fate, while Jacob and his mother lived with the grandparents.

In 1905 his mother married her second husband, Israel Julius Liebowitz. He was born in 1873 in Russian and worked as a tailor. The parents eventually had five more children, Fay (b.1906), Harry (b.1907), Mary (b.1911), Max (b.1913), and Leonard (b.1917).

In 1910 the family left Russia and moved to America, where they settled in New York City and lived in the Jewish ghetto on the Lower East Side. The father worked as a dressmaker at a garment factory. He was also a union organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). The children attended public schools.

In the 1915 NY State Census listed the family as residents at an apartment building at 1326 Brook Avenue in the Bronx.

In 1917 during the Great War, Jacob S. Liebowitz was still a teen-aged student in high school, so he did not serve in the military.

In January of 1919 Jacob S. Liebowitz graduated from high school in the Bronx, after which he entered the work force as an office clerk and bookkeeper.

In 1920 the U.S. Census listed the family at 1348 Clinton Avenue in the Bronx. The father was listed as a clothing factory worker. Jacob, age twenty, was listed as an assistant bookkeeper at a clothing factory. Their two salaries supported the family of eight.

On June 2, 1925 Jacob S. Liebowitz married Rose M. Sherman in the Bronx. She was born in 1905 in Roumania. She was a high school graduate and worked as a secretary.

Three weeks later, on June 21, 1925 Jacob S. Liebowitz graduated from New York University with a degree in accountancy. He followed his step-father's business connections to become a trusted financial manager of union funds at the ILGWU.

On 1927 the father of Jack Liebowitz, Israel Julius Liebowitz, died at the age of fifty-four in NYC.

In 1928 Jack Liebowitz met Harry Donenfeld, who worked as a salesman for a printing company that produced leaflets for the ILGWU.

In 1930 the U.S. Census listed Jack Liebowitz as a married accountant living with his widowed mother and four younger siblings at an apartment building in the Bronx at 1156 College Avenue.

In 1931 Harry Donenfeld formed Donenfeld Magazines (D.M.) Publishing Corporation. He hired Jack Liebowitz as business manager, when he acquired a bankrupt publishing company, Ramer Reviews, which was run by Frank Armer, but was owned by Warren Angel and Paul Sampliner of Eastern Distribution.

Donenfeld published erotic joke books, such as Pep, Ginger, Spicy Stories, and Snappy Stories. His editor was Merle Williams Hersey, the wife of Harold Hersey. The art editor was Worth Carnahan. Artists who contributed to these magazines included R. A. Burley, Earle K. Bergey, Otto Greiner, and Adolphe Barreaux.

In July of 1933 Jack Liebowitz joined Harry Donenfeld, Merle Williams Hersey and Adolphe Barreaux in the revival of The Police Gazette. Their weekly paper followed the unique tradition of being printed on pink newsprint. It featured a new comic strip by Barreaux about the saucy misadventures of a Broadway chorus girl named "Flossie Flip." The new Police Gazette ran for one year until it was sold to Harold H. Roswell (1897-1993), who published it for another three decades.

In 1933 Mr. & Mrs. Liebowitz had their first child, Linda Liebowitz.

In 1934 Donenfeld formed Culture Publications to produce Spicy Detective Stories, and soon added Spicy Adventures, Spicy Mystery, and Spicy Western. These pulp magazine also included several pages of comic strip features, such as "Sally the Sleuth," "Polly of the Plains," "Diana Daw," and "Dan Turner."

In 1935 Mr. & Mrs. Liebowitz had their second and final child, Joan Liebowitz.

February 1935 was the date of the first issue of New Fun Comics, produced by National Allied Publications, whose president was Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (1890-1965). This was one of the first comic books that featured original material, rather than reprinted newspaper comic strips. This innovative product was slow to catch on, but eventually became successful enough to alter the course of American popular culture.

In 1937 Harry Donenfeld published The Lone Ranger Magazine, which was based on the popular radio show produced by George Washington Trendle (1884-1972). To handle this unique project Jack Liebowitz formed Trojan Publishing Corporation at 125 East 46th Street, and made Frank Armer the Company President.

On December 30, 1937 Harry Donenfeld, William J. Delaney, and National Allied Newspaper Syndicate orchestrated the bankruptcy of the Nicholson Publishing Company for outstanding debts of $63,380. By June of 1938 this legal maneuver gave Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz control of the company, which included its most valuable property, Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

In 1939 Superman became a newspaper comic strip at the McClure Syndicate. That same year the spectacular World's Fair was staged in Flushing, Queens, for which Harry Donenfeld produced New York World's Fair Comics.

As the company earned greater profit from wholesome comic books for children, it became important to hide their ownership of adult publications that featured nude photos and erotic stories about opium and torture, so Jack Liebowitz created several new corporations, such as Arrow Publications, Associated Authors Publications, and Detinuer Publishing. This last company name was derived from spelling "reunited" backwards. Donenfeld, Liebowitz and Sampliner also formed Independent News Distribution. Their business office was located at 480 Lexington Avenue, but the massive building occupied an entire city block, so there was a delivery entrance on the south side at 125 East 46th Street. The entrance on the west side was "245 Park Avenue." The north side had a service entrance at 114 East 47th Street. These four entrances to the same building helped to legally protect Harry Donenfeld from the inevitable jeopardy of his various risky business ventures.

On February 2, 1940 The Adventures of Superman radio show began to broadcast over the Mutual Radio Network. D.C. Comics supervised the production, which ran for over ten years. The shows where written by Robert Maxwell Joffe, who also wrote the theme music. He was one of the top pulp authors of risqué short stories that appeared in Donenfeld's Spicy Adventure Stories, La Paree, and Pep!

In 1941 the Fleischer Studios released the first animated color cartoon of Superman. Harry Donenfeld publicized various Superman products in a uniquely personal way that resulted in his own renown as a popular culture celebrity.

Jack Liebowitz masterminded the notorious lawsuit with Fawcett Publications over copyright infringement, which eventually ruined Captain Marvel Comics.

On February 15, 1945 the mother of Jack Liebowitz, Minnie Liebowitz, died at the age of sixty-three in NYC.

In 1948 Hollywood produced a serialized motion picture of Superman, which was followed three years later by a popular television show starring George Reeves.

In 1949 Jack Liebowitz became a founding trustee and board member of the Long Island Jewish Hospital.

In 1956 the wife of Jack Liebowitz, Rose M. Sherman Liebowitz, died at the age of fifty-one in NYC.

In 1958 poor health forced Harry Donenfeld to retire from business at the age of sixty-five. After his retirement Jack Liebowitz became company president.

In 1958 Lack Liebowitz (age fifty-eight) married his second wife, Shirley Schwartz (age forty-one). They lived in Old Westbury, NY, and also kept an apartment in Manhattan. They had no children, although she had one son from a previous marriage, Robert Schwartz (b.1937).

In 1961 Jack Liebowitz engineered the sale of public stock in National Periodical Publications.

Liebowitz installed his nephew, Jay Emmett, as head of the Licensing Corporation of America, which capitalized on the many popular comic book characters that were cultural icons, such as The Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman.

Harry Donenfeld died at the age seventy-one on February 26, 1965.

In 1967 Liebowitz sold D.C. Comics to a corporation that eventually became Time-Warner Communications. He remained a board member of that company for twenty-three years.

In 1970 Paul Sampliner retired from business at the age of sixty-nine. He died at the age of seventy-six on January 7, 1975.

Jack Liebowitz continued to commute to work at Time-Warner Communications every day until he finally retired at the age of ninety in 1990.

Jack Liebowitz died at the age of one hundred in Great Neck, NY, on December 11, 2000.

                              © David Saunders 2017

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