Joseph M Schenck
Russian immigrant who began acquiring amusement parks with his brother Nicholas in the teens and soon became allied with the Loew organization, where he graduated to a senior executive position. Schenck left Loew's in 1917 to become an independent film producer, turning out vehicles for Norma Talmadge (his wife), Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle. After a spell at United Artists he co-founded the 20th Century corporation with Darryl Zanuck, becoming chairman of the board of 20th Century-Fox after the 1935 merger. Schenck was forced to resign in 1941 when he was indicted for income tax irregularities, but returned to the fold as an executive producer after four months in jail. In 1953 he formed the Magna Corporation with Michael Todd, inventor of the Todd-AO widescreen process. Brother Nicholas, meanwhile, had remained with Loew's--he was appointed chairman of the board in 1955--and exerted a tremendous influence over the output of their production and distribution subsidiary, MGM.