David Sarnoff (Russian: Давид Сарнов) (Uzlyany27 February 1891 – New York City12 december 1971) was an American businessman of Russian origin. He is the founder of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) led for most of his career and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).


Sarnoff was born in the Belarusian town MinskUzlyany, near, in a Jewish family as the oldest son of Abraham and Leah Sarnoff. His early childhood was mostly spent in the study to rabbi to be. At the age of nine his family emigrated to the United States. In 1900 he came with his parents, three brothers and one sister in New York City, where he before and after his classes at the Educational Alliance supported his family by selling newspapers.

His father became incapacitated by tuberculosis In 1906, so he was forced to be breadwinner for his family. After a job as errand boy at the Commercial Cable Company he came on 30 september 1906 employed by Marconi Wireles Telegraph Company and he began his 60-year career in the telecommunications. Through various positions, he managed to climb on to commercial manager at the Marconi co.

On July 4, 1917 he married Lizette Hermant, the daughter of a French immigrant. They had three sons: Robert, Edward and Thomas. In the same year, the American branch of Marconi acquired by General Electricin 1919 as an independent company, in order to continue under the name Radio Corporation of America, in which Sarnoff remained as commercial manager. He climbed further on through this function of General Manager, Vice President, Executive Vice President, until he succeeded General James Harbord in 1930 as President of RCA.

In 1947 he was appointed Chairman in addition to president of the Board of Directors. In 1949, he joined back as president, but remained until 1970 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RCA. His son Robert would succeed him as President of RCA in 1971. David Sarnoff died at the age of 80 in New York City.

Radio & Tv[Edit]Edit

Sarnoff was one of the first to the infinite possibilities of radio as a means of communication and publicly recognized as a source of entertainment. In July 1921 he sent via radio from a boxing match: more than 30,000 people had listened to. The consequence was that the radio sales began and the money flowed at RCA, as the most important producer of radio sets, inside.

In addition to radio, he also saw the new possibilities of another home entertainment: the television. In the 1920s and 1930s he spent large amounts of RCA in these research programmes. So he financially supported the work of Vladimir Zworykin, engineer at Westinghouse, in the development of the television camera. Iconoscoop a working camera tube and tube were a kine scoop receipt by RCA on 24 april 1936 presented to the press.

Although RCA had to cut back firmly during the great depression , it was television project of Zworykin by Sarnoff protected. After nine years of hard work they had a commercial reliable system available to the market. In 1939 took place in America the first public television broadcast under the name of the National Broadcasting Company. The broadcast was sent from the world fair in New York City and was initiated by Sarnoff himself. Soon after that grew from a market leader of NBC television in the United States.


Sarnoff has acknowledged several award throughout his career, including the Medal of Merit (Medal of merit) of president Truman. He was the first recipient of the "One World Price", presented by the American Nobel Centre in 1945. In 1944, he was awarded by the Television Broadcasters Association the honorary title of "father of the American television". In 1989 he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.