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SKU: 364215376135191
  • From humble beginnings, John Danz (born Israel Danowsky) left Czarist Russia at the age 4 with his parents. Avoiding the Jewish Pogroms, the family arrived in the United States in 1882.   After living in a sod hut in Kansas with his family, he and his father migrated to Portland, Oregon with their peddler’s wagon.  John worked as a newsboy, a Western Union messenger in San Francisco, a cowhand in Nevada and clerk in haberdasheries in Nevada and Oregon.  Before moving to Seattle, Washington, John and his father peddled merchandise along the Columbia River.

    Arriving in Seattle in 1903, John started a successful haberdashery business. By 1913 John managed a nickelodeon next door, for the sole purpose of bringing customers into his men’s clothing store.  Soon John found he was making more money from his nickelodeon theatre than the clothing stores.  John Danz soon sold his men’s clothing stores and began focusing his attention building a chain of dedicated theatres, naming his company Sterling Theatre Company.  Through two world wars, bankruptcies, the longest labor strike in Seattle history, and the Great Depression, John Danz survived with great success, leaving his theatre empire to his son Fredric at his death in 1961.

    'At the age of fifty-five I began my journey of discovery.  Much earlier in life, at fifteen years of age, my curiosity of those ancestors that lived before me precipitated a lifelong love of genealogy and research.  By 2015 I had traced the majority of my ancestors to the 17th century.  Although I knew who my ancestors were, I decided to take a DNA test, knowing that it would produce nothing new or surprising.  My results returned showing I was 25% Jewish.  Now what?  I spent forty years researching my family history with no hint of any ancestor being Jewish.  What happened next changed my life forever.' - Mark Hester | Author | A Sterling Life.

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