Comedian Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky, in Waukegan, Illinois.
He was the son of Meyer Kubelsky and Emma Sachs Kubelsky. Meyer was a Jewish saloon owner, and later a haberdasher, who had emigrated to America from Poland. Emma had emigrated from Lithuania.
A violin prodigy, he hoped for a concert career, but by 17 was playing in vaudeville, where he discovered he was not only musical, but also very funny. His NBC radio program, The Jack Benny Show, began in 1932 and ran weekly for 23 years. His onstage character was a sour, exceedingly stingy person, a remarkably awful violin player, and perpetually 39 years old.
He married Sadie Marks in 1927.She changed her name to Mary Livingstone.
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