Quick Click: Vignettes from the Jewish News Archives. Feb. 19, 2015

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grouchoGroucho Marx was a major Jewish movie and television star. Born in New York on Oct. 2, 1895, he made his debut onto the stage just before his 11th birthday.

His career spanned film, television, Broadway and radio. Grouch, as his friends called him, was known for his unsurpassed, quick, biting wit and was recognized as one of the greatest comedians in the world.

Groucho’s parents were immigrants. Groucho initially considered a career in medicine, but owing to the influence of his mother, Minna, who was drawn to the theater, he pursued comedy instead.

Despite his success, Groucho never forgot his roots and used his sharp wit to combat the lunacy of bigotry. When his daughter was forbidden from swimming at a club that excluded Jews, Marx wrote the club president a highly publicized letter in which he said: “Since my little daughter is only half-Jewish, would it be all right if she went in the pool only up to her waist?”

When Groucho passed away in 1977, the Detroit Jewish News, as well as every major publication in America noted this event.

By Carolyn Wiener, Detroit Jewish News Foundation Fellow

 Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

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