Sunday, August 27, 2017

William Morris Agent Abe Lastfogel 1984 Hillside Cemetery

Abraham Isaac "Abe" Lastfogel (May 17, 1898 - August 27, 1984) was one of the first employees and a long-time President of the William Morris Agency, a large diversified talent agency.[1]

Early life

Abe was the seventh son of "a Yiddish-speaking animal skinner who had fled Russia in 1889 to escape the pogroms and found work in the Gansevoort Street meatpacking district by the docks of the Lower West Side. Born in 1898, the boy had grown up in a cold-water flat on East Forty-ninth Street... He was a scappy kid, compact and solidly built..."[2]:34


The William Morris Agency hired Abe Lastfogel in 1912 as an office boy. Finding success in the rapidly growing firm, Lastfogel ultimately moved to Hollywood in 1932 to manage WMA's Los Angeles office. He was Chairman of William Morris[3] while William Morris Jr., served as President.

USO Shows

During World War II, Lastfogel served as President of the USO-Camp Shows,[4] which produced wartime entertainment events featuring more than 7,000 performers—including Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore and James Stewart—seen by audiences of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines around the world estimated to total two hundred million.[2]:82[5] [6]

Personal life

In 1927, Lastfogel married Frances Arms, a former vaudeville performer. They had no children.[3]

Abe Lastfogel died of a heart attack in 1984[7] at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and was interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.


1. "Abe Lastfogel, Agent, Dead; A William Morris Executive". The New York Times. 27 August 1984. 
2. Rose, Frank (1996). The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business (1st pbk. ed.). New York: HarperBusiness. ISBN 978-0-887-30807-9. OCLC 37128759. 
3. Buckley, Tom (3 December 1973). "William Morris Agency Marks 75 Years of 10% vaudeville headliner when". The New York Times. pp. 77, 85. 
4. "USO Camp Show Head Back from England: Lastfogel Arrives on Clipper After Entertainment Survey". The New York Times. 17 December 1942. p. 42. 
5. Kahn, Jr., E. J. (20 April 1946). "The Quiet Guy in Lindy's". The New Yorker. p. 35. 
6. Kahn, Jr., E. J. (27 April 1946). "The Quiet Guy in Lindy's II". The New Yorker. p. 27. 
7. "Abraham Lastfogel - United States Social Security Death Index". FamilySearch. 

Further reading

Rose, Frank. The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. ISBN 978-0-887-30807-9 OCLC 37128759

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