Louis B. Mayer

Louis B. Mayer
Vice-president in charge of production, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures


Vice-president in charge of production, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Emigrated from Russia as a child in 1886. Entered the entertainment industry in 1907 running a small theatre in Haverhill. Massachusetts, from which he developed a chain of theatres across New England. He then moved into distribution, establishing an exchange network by 1914, making a large profit by distributing The Birth of a Nation in New England. He entered production with his own company, Alco, later Metro, in 1917, moving to Los Angeles in 1918. When Marcus Loew acquired a controlling interest in Metro, the Goldwyn company and Louis B. Mayer Pictures, Mayer became vice-president and general manager of the merged company in 1924, remaining in that role at MGM (Mayer’s name was added to the company name in 1925) until 1951. Mayer was instrumental in the founding of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927, active in California state Republican politics, and the highest paid corporate executive in the United States in the 1930s.

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