EXECUTIVES: The Fellow on the Bridge

In 1900 a scrawny nine-year-old from Minsk clambered out of steerage class and onto the hardscrabble streets of Manhattan. Before he died last week at 80, David Sarnoff rose to rule one of the last great personal autocracies in U.S. industry, the $3.3 billion-a-year RCA Corp. Though he was neither scientist nor inventor, he probably did more than any other American to bring radio, television and color TV to the masses. With considerable justification, "General" Sarnoff* cast himself as the father of the entire electronic-communications industry. "In a big ship sailing in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!