The Celluloid Coast
Samuel Goldwyn didn't invent motion pictures but he did manage to invent himself. He as born Schmuel Gelbfisz in 1882 in Warsaw's ghetto. And Gelbfisz translated into Goldfish. By the time he was fourteen, he had walked all the way to Hamburg, Germany—his destination was America. By 1896 he got there.
After his arrival, he worked for three dollars a day as a glove cutter in a small upstate New York town. But he had made up his mind that gloves would not be his future. In 1913, in an almost incomprehensible metamorphosis, he allied himself with his brother-in-law, Jesse L. Lasky, and with a former actor, Cecil B. DeMille, to form a motion-picture company. The three men set up shop in an abandoned barn in Hollywood, California, where the sun never failed to shine. Their first project was to turn The Squaw Man, a successful stage play, into a motion picture.
Within a few years, Goldfish cut himself loose from the DeMille-Lasky tandem and joined with Edgar Selwyn—a playwright with an appreciation for good writing—to form Goldwyn Pictures. Part of Selwyn's last name was