Joseph Edward Levine


Biography of Joseph Edward Levine

Joseph Edward Levine (September 9, 1905 – July 31, 1987) was an American film producer.

Levine was born in a slum in Boston, Massachusetts on September 9, 1905. The youngest of six children of a Russian immigrant tailor, Joe did whatever work he could to help support his mother, a widow who had remarried only to have her second husband abandon her. This led him, in his later years, to tell an interviewer that he had known, in his words, "not one happy day" growing up. At 14 years of age, he was hired for full-time work in a dress factory and left school, never to re-enroll.

In the 1920s, in partnership with two of his older brothers, Joe opened a basement dress shop, whose stock the Levine brothers obtained on consignment. Nan Robertson's obituary of him for the New York Times notes that he "briefly drove an ambulance, manufactured little statues of Daddy Grace, a black evangelist, and operated the Cafe Wonderbar in Boston's Back Bay" during this period and during the early and middle 1930s.

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