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George Gershwin 1898 - 1937 Georges parents emigrated to the USA in the late 1800s Georges father Morris was trying to avoid a probable twenty year conscription in his native St Petersburg Besides that his hometown sweetheart Rose Bruskin had already moved to New York with her family They are shown here at about the time of their marriage in 1895 George was Morris and Roses second son born on September 26 1898 Athough Morris had already Americanized the family name from Gershovitz to Gershvin the doctor still managed to misspell it on the birth certificate Georges name of record was Jacob Gershwine Georges brother Arthur was born two years later and his sister Frankie followed in 1908 This house in Brooklyn New York was the family home where George was born But the Gershvins didnt live in this house very long By the time George was 18 years old the family had moved 28 times Morris was an entrepreneur though not a very successful one He always wanted to live within walking distance of the family business His business ventures included a restaurant bakery summer hotel boarding house bookmaking cigar store pool hall and Russian and Turkish baths The family did not trust banks a typical attitude of the period They kept their money in Roses diamond ring When cash was low one of the boys was entrusted to take the ring to the pawn shop and later redeem it Though Morris wasnt the greatest businessman in the world Rose proudly maintained that the family always had a maid This picture shows one of the family maids on an outing with Ira Rose George and baby Arthur Throughout his life George was outgoing and energetic As a boy he did not go in for indoor activity like reading or music He was always getting in trouble at school because of his
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