Levine, Ezra
Interview Date
March 18, 1991
Ezra Levine, whose brother was author Don Isaac Levine, worked in the newspapers business and as a collection agent.
[T1S1] Respondent notes differences in parent's attitudes and provides biographical details. Respondent indicates extent of education in Russia. Works and education of brother, author Don Isaac Levine, are mentioned. Respondent relates brothers' successive emigrations and own route to the U.S. Respondent's initial residences in Boston are specified; Respondent's detainment upon arrival in U.S. is outlined. Respondent notes first job as youth, father's interest in Zionism and mother's support of family. Respondent relates leaving home for New York City.
[T1S2] Respondent's first jobs with Yiddish newspapers are indicated. Cost of living in New York in 1910s is noted. Respondent recounts obtaining position with Hearst newspapers and explains kickbacks received as newspaper distributor in scheme by relative of Annenberg. Respondent indicates various aspects of work in New York newspapers; Respondent's relocation to Pittsburgh is mentioned. Respondent details the economics of his collection work for the accounts of the defunct Pittsburgh <i>Sun-Telegraph</i>. Respondent recounts applying for work as a collection agent in the 1960s; Respondent specifies the current pay scale of collection.
[T2S3] Respondent reiterates biographical information. Methods of study in cheder in Russia are characterized. Duties of the mayor of Respondent's town's Jewish section are enumerated. Fines levied for brother's emigrations are noted. Respondent's reading Materials in Russia are enumerated. Respondent recounts meeting future wife and expresses his interest at the time of becoming married. Circumstances of Respondent's marriage are related; wife's protracted ailments are chronicled. Children's names and professions are noted.
[T2S4] Wife's synagogue activities, children's Hebrew educations and family observances are indicated. Respondent summarizes work experience and reports social activities during marriage. Respondent reads letter sent to politicians and newspapers regarding his brother. Respondent enumerates residences in Pittsburgh and reiterates circumstances of relocation to Pittsburgh. Children's successes are mentioned.
[T3S5] Brother's early interest in writing is illustrated; aversion of Jews to Russian military service is explained. Respondent notes recording of brother's experience as immigrant. Respondent discusses brother's career and fame as a newspaper columnist and correspondent. Subjects and success of brother's books are indicated. The decline of newspapers popularity is illustrated. Memorial for brother by National Press Club is mentioned. Respondent comments upon the unpredictability of his life and assesses his job performance. Respondent reiterates his work as a collection agent. Respondent briefly summarizes factors in newspapers' decline.
[T3S6] Buying practices of newspaper readers are discussed. Mother's support of family and father's interest in Zionism are indicated. Objectives of the Territorialist movement are outlined. Respondent reports his accomplishments. Dispersion of family upon arrival in U.S. is indicated; Respondent notes present location of relatives. Respondent expresses his philosophy of life.
Collection agents; Levine, Don Isaac; Newspapers
Newspaper business; Collection agent
Length (hours)
Ariel, Rose Anne
Gordon, Debra
Collateral Materials
Box 103 FF 23
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