Benjamin William Sangor was born Ben William Samgorodecki on February 5, 1889 in Kiev, Ukraine, Russia. The family name is derived from the Ukrainian town of Samgorodok, which is eighty miles southwest of Kiev. His father, William Ben Samgorodecki, was born in 1848 in Russia of Jewish ancestry. His mother, Sarah Golden, was born in 1850 in Russia of Jewish ancestry. His parents married in 1873 and had three children, Rose (b.1875), Grace (b.1881) and Ben (b.1889).
At that time the population of Kiev was a volatile mixture of competing cultures, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Jewish. The region was periodically inflamed by violent riots against Jews, who were vilified as foreign moneylenders. Thousands of Jews were killed in pogroms, their homes were burned, their families were reduced to poverty, and the survivors were forced to flee Kiev.
In 1902 the father, William Ben Samgorodecki, died at the age of fifty-four in Kiev. After his tragic death the widow and her three children left Russia and moved to America.
At the time of their emigration the Russian Cyrillic spelling of the family name had to be transliterated into a phonetic equivalent of the Romanic alphabet. Other family members came to America under the names Samgrodecki, Samgoradesky, Samgrodski, and Samgorski.
On February 25, 1904 the widow and her three children arrived in New York City, where they lived with relatives in Brooklyn at 145 Newell Street.
The oldest daughter married to become Mrs. Grace Lenzberg. The second daughter also married, and became Mrs. Rose Podolski. Her son, William Ben Podolski, was born on February 14, 1905 in NYC.
In 1906 the family left Brooklyn and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the mother bought a crockery and glassware store at 451 Sixth Street. They family lived at 688 Sixth Street. The mother changed the family name to Samgor.
The youngest child, Ben Samgor, age seventeen, began to work as a waiter, while he attended night classes at the North Division School of Milwaukee.
In September of 1909 Ben Samgor, age twenty, began to attend the University of Wisconsin. While a student at the school, he changed his name to Benjamin Sangor.
On April 20, 1912 Benjamin Sangor married Sophie Kitz. She was born November 11, 1893 in Barago, Michigan. Her father, Jacob Kitz, was born in 1870 in Austria of Jewish ancestry. Her mother, Annie Rademinsky, was born in 1871 in Russia of Jewish ancestry. Her parents married in 1891 and had three children, Sophie (b.1893), Mamie (b.1895), and Joseph (b.1897). Her father was a manufacturer of novelty items.
Benjamin Sangor and his wife moved to 757 Frederick Avenue. Their only child, Jacquelyn Sangor, was born on February 1, 1913 in Milwaukee.
In June of 1913 Benjamin Sangor, age twenty-five, graduated from the Marquette Law School. Two months later, on August 14, 1913, The American Israelite reported from Milwaukee, "Mr. Benjamin Sangor has been admitted to the Wisconsin Bar, after having successfully passed the bar examination last month."
In 1913 the Milwaukee Business Directory listed Benjamin Sangor as a Deputy Clerk at the City Court House.
On September 18, 1914 the State Court of Wisconsin declared Benjamin Sangor a naturalized alien citizen. The witness who attested to his citizenship was Max Gorenstein, a Milwaukee real estate broker.
Benjamin Sangor's first significant client was the owner of Milwaukee's largest department store, the Kroeger Brothers Store, which faced an involuntary petition of bankruptcy, filed by creditors. The company's solvency was restored by a controversial issuance of new stocks. Benjamin Sangor's handling of the case was subsequently investigated by the Milwaukee district attorney.
William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) formed Hearst-Brisbane Properties with Arthur Brisbane (1864-1936), the renowned editor of Hearst newspapers. When Hearst bought The Chicago Herald he and Brisbane hired Moe L. Annenberg (1877-1942) to aggressively enforce circulation at Chicago newsstands that had allegiance to a rival syndicate. When Hearst-Brisbane Properties bought newspapers in Milwaukee they made Moe L. Annenberg the editor. While in Milwaukee, Annenberg bought significant real estate for Hearst-Brisbane Properties, such as parking lots, theaters, pool halls, a bowling alley and a taxi service. To handle these transactions Moe L. Annenberg hired a clever real estate lawyer in Milwaukee, Benjamin Sangor.
By 1917 Moe L. Annenberg was the publisher of The Wisconsin Daily News of Milwaukee, where he hired Joseph Ottenstein (1897-1973) as editor. Two years later he sold the paper to William Randolph Hearst, who made Ottenstein president of the District News Company, the largest distributor of newsstand periodicals in Washington, D.C.
On June 5, 1917 during the Great War, Benjamin Sangor registered with his local draft board. He was recorded at the time to be of medium height, stout build, with gray eyes and brown hair. At the age of twenty-eight, with a mother, wife and child to support, he was not selected for military service.
In the fall of 1917 Benjamin Sangor was arrested for contempt of court and lying under oath about his deceptive role in the Kroeger Brothers bankruptcy case.
After the trial Benjamin Sangor left Milwaukee and moved to Chicago, where he was reported to represent a real estate "corporation - of Chicago businessmen." He helped Hearst, Brisbane, and Annenberg purchase bankrupt properties at auction. His offices were at 220 South State Street. His advertisements appeared in The Chicago Tribune. He and his family lived at 4518 Prairie Avenue in Chicago.
On March 27, 1918 Benjamin Sangor's wife, Sophie (Kitz) Sangor, died at the age of twenty-four from a complicated pregnancy. Two months later, on June 5, 1918, his mother, Sarah Sangor, died at the age of sixty-eight. After these two tragic deaths, Benjamin Sangor enrolled his six-year-old daughter, Jacquelyn Sangor, in a Chicago boarding school, Saint Xavier's Academy, at 4928 Cottage Grove Avenue.
On January 17, 1920 the Eighteenth Amendment took effect, which made the sale of alcohol a federal crime. Demand exceeded supply to such an outrageous extent that law enforcement was quickly overwhelmed. Politicians had intended to prohibit unwholesome behavior, but inadvertently generated a national syndicate of organized crime that controlled and coordinated the wholesale import, manufacture, storage, trucking and distribution of alcoholic beverages. Criminal gangs were suddenly involved in a wildly lucrative mass production industry on a scale that was previously unimaginable.
During the roaring twenties the enforcers Annenberg had used to promote newspaper circulation, the North Side Gang of Dean O'Banion (1892-1924), had become the major rival in the Chicago bootleggers war with Al Capone (1899-1947). Through this powerful affiliation Annenberg gained control of a nationwide monopoly on racetrack wire services, along with a network of racing forms. In 1921 he bought the National Racing Wire, which compiled and distributed all race results in North America. In 1922 he bought The Daily Racing Form, the preeminent tabloid of horse racing statistics, which remained among his most profitable publications.
In 1922 Moe L. Annenberg moved to New York City to serve on the Executive Council of the Hearst organization. Hearst wanted to maintain a worldwide reputation for infallible business success. This reputation helped him to profitably sell the stocks and bonds that financed his projects. Hearst's Executive Committee members acted as his proxies to buy indebted properties on his behalf. If those ventures failed to thrive, they were dumped, but if they turned a profit, they were added to Hearst's "infallible" portfolio. Annenberg continued to serve as a leading member of the Hearst Executive Council for the next ten years. He often credited Arthur Brisbane as his greatest mentor.
Arthur Brisbane bought a 6,000 acre New Jersey shoreline property, known as Allaire, where he constructed a magnificent hotel, The Allaire Inn, and a palatial mansion beside a man-made lake.
Moe L. Annenberg also bought a 2,000 acre ranch in Wyoming. According to an expose in Time Magazine, the ranch was , "his showplace of the Black Hills, from which like Hearst at San Simeon he rules a far-flung empire by private wires. He has also an estate at Sands Point, L.I., and this year he bought the magnificent Miami villa of the late Albert Russell Erskine."
In 1922 Moe L. Annenberg bought The Running Horse, as well as The New York Daily Racing Tabloid, which was printed and distributed by Theodore Epstein. Anti-racketeering prosecutors targeted the national wire service of Moe L. Annenberg, because they considered it the lifeblood of the gambling industry that nourished American gangsters. At that time gambling was controlled in New York City by a partnership of three mobsters, Lucky Luciano (1897-1962), Frank Costello (1891-1973), and Arnold Rothstein (1882-1928). It is hard to imagine how Moe L. Annenberg gained control of a nationwide monopoly of racetrack wire services without their complicity.
Hearst-Brisbane Properties owned the Ritz Tower, the Ziegfeld Theater, and the Longacre Building at Times Square.
In 1923 Benjamin Sangor also moved to New York City, where he opened real estate offices in the Longacre Building. He also opened real estate offices in New Jersey, where he proceeded to buy and develop properties.
In 1923 Benjamin Sangor brought his ten-year-old daughter, Jacquelyn Sangor, from Chicago to the East Coast and enrolled her in the Highland Manor Boarding School of Tarrytown, NY.
In 1923 Moe L. Annenberg arranged for production of six million promotional brochures distributed as inserts in Hearst publications. There were several oddities involved with this deal. Surprisingly the printer selected for such a massive project was Harry Donenfeld (1893-1965), who at that time was an insolvent salesman at his older brother's modest print shop, Martin Press, at 76 Hudson Street. Fortunately Harry Donenfeld was a friend of Theodore Epstein, who printed The Daily Racing Tabloid for Moe L. Annenberg. To handle such a lucrative project Harry Donenfeld founded Elmo Press, Inc. There is a curious echo between the names "Elmo" and "Moe L." Annenberg. However the most striking fact was that Elmo Press was located at 32 West 22nd Street, which was the same address for Theodore Epstein's Tab Printing Corporation, where The Daily Racing Tabloid was printed for Moe L. Annenberg.
In 1923 a building at 45 West 45th Street was purchased by Hearn Buildings in conjunction with Hearst-Brisbane properties. Three months later, On January 30, 1924 The New York Times reported the longterm lease of five floors in 45 West 45th Street to a syndicate of magazine publishers, which included Smart Set, a magazine that was owned by William M. Clayton, but had recently been purchased by William Randolph Hearst.
On November 18, 1924 legal documents were registered in Albany, NY, by Warren Angel and Paul Sampliner and Morris Falter to charter a new incorporation called Eastern Distributing Corporation to handle sales of magazines and candy to newsstands. Their business address was 45 West 45th Street. Morris Falter (1870-1935) was the uncle of Paul Sampliner. The placement of this relative as a proxy member represented Paul Sampliner's two-thirds ownership of the corporation.
Eastern Distributing Corporation handled the production and distribution of all publications by Theodore Epstein and Harry Donenfeld.
At that same time Annenberg continued to purchase newspapers and properties in NYC and New Jersey. In 1924 he bought The New York Daily Mirror and The Elizabeth New Jersey Times. His brother, Max Annenberg, bought The New York Daily News. The two brothers were also financially involved in the sale of The New York Evening Graphic and The Philadelphia Daily News to Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955). All of these tabloid newspapers were printed at the Jersey City Printing Company in New Jersey. Their special color sections for Sunday supplements were printed at Art Color Printing of Dunellen, NJ.
At that same time Art Color Printing Company of Dunellen, New Jersey, was bought by the W. F. Hall Printing Company of Chicago, whose President, Albert Geiger, was a business affiliate of Moe L. Annenberg and was also a member of the Hearst Executive Council. W. F. Hall's Vice President, Ernest O. Machlin, was a Member of the Board of Directors of Macfadden Publications. Most of Bernarr Macfadden's 400,000,000 annual periodicals were printed at the Dunellen plant of Art Color Printing, along with the periodicals of most publishers handled by Eastern Distributing.
In 1924 Benjamin Sangor formed B. W. Sangor and Company, Incorporated, with a group of Chicago real estate investors to buy a bankrupt development property, named Pinewald, which covered twelve square miles on the shore of southern New Jersey, near the town of Toms River.
Historic records at Pinewald contain a 1926 photograph of Moe L. Annenberg on an inspection tour of the New Jersey development property.
B. W. Sangor & Co, Inc. constructed The Royal Pines Hotel, beside a man-made lake.
He added a gold course and country club to the property.
On October 17, 1925 The New York Times reported that B. W. Sangor & Co., Inc. had listed a $200,000 designation of their incorporation with the N.Y. State Office of Business Registration. He sold lots to prospective home owners from real estate offices in Times Square, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Newark, and Trenton. He formed the B. W. Sangor Outdoor Advertising Company to paint signs and billboards to attract prospective home owners to Pinewald.
In one promotional event Benjamin Sangor drove a bus filled with Ziegfeld Girls to perform graceful entertainments at Pinewald.
Benjamin Sangor was an impressive salesman. According to the artist Gordon Sheehan (1910-1996), "I remember Mr. Sangor well. He was a distinguished-looking, pleasant man." Sangor eventually sold all the lots at Pinewald. He then proceeded to sell the same lots to multiple owners. He even sold lots on surrounding property that he did not own.
Here is an aerial photograph of the Royal Pines Hotel and surrounding property at Pinewald.
In April of 1926 The New York Times printed advertisements for Eastern Distributing Corporation for a business to rent a portion of their office space at 45 West 45th Street.
In July of 1926 The New York Times printed a Help Wanted advertisement for an experienced stenographer to work at Eastern Distributing Corporation, room #502 of 45 West 45th Street.
In September of 1927 Benjamin Sangor's daughter, Jacquelyn Sangor, at the age of fourteen, left the boarding school in Tarrytown, NY, and returned to Illinois as a boarding student at New Trier High School.
In 1927 Benjamin Sangor constructed a bathing pavilion and pier to attract visitors to the public beach at Pinewald.
In 1928 Benjamin Sangor built a large Spanish-style private estate for himself at Pinewald.
In June of 1928 Benjamin Sangor sailed to England to promote the Baird Television System at an international conference. The owner of the company was John Logie Baird (1888-1946). His travel companions were two wealthy entrepreneurs, Arnold L. Ogden and Charles Izenstark. Their visit to England was reported in the 1928 issue of Electronic Engineering, "An interesting personality is Mr. Benjamin W. Sangor, who is well known in American as a lawyer, a real estate operator, and as a financier. Along with his interest in the commercial development of television, he is also the founder of a new residential town called Pinewald." On July 13, 1928 he and his business associates returned from England to NYC.
In 1928 Benjamin Sangor registered a newly incorporated business Preferred Publications, Incorporated, at 56 West 45th Street. The company published "100 French Romance Novels" and a copyrighted publication, "Modern Eugenics and Sex Relations" by Dr. Marc Henry Frank. The distributor was Man Story Magazines at 49 West 45th Street. Full page advertisements for Modern Eugenics appeared in most magazines handled by Eastern Distribution.
In October of 1929 the NYC Stock Market crashed and chaos struck the American banking system, which undermined the national economy. The ensuing hardships of the Great Depression affected workers and farmers, as well as industrialists. The established order of manufacturing collapsed, which devastated the advertising and publishing industries. One of the few businesses that enjoyed rising profits were pulp magazines, which sold cheap thrills to the idle masses from corner newsstands for pocket change. The first to recognize this trend were the distributors, including Paul Sampliner and Warren Angel, who swiftly moved to cast a wider net.
In February 1930 Eastern Distributing Corporation moved from 45 West 45th Street to the Albano Building at 305 East 46th Street. During this expansive phase they employed Louis Silberkleit, Martin Goodman, Frank Armer, and Michael Estrow as Circulation Promoters. The company extended credit to ambitious entry-level publishers in exchange for partial ownership and the required use of affiliated printers, suppliers, and advertising representatives. This deal gave the distributor complete control, as well as maximum profit.
Three young editors who accepted such a deal were Aaron A. Wyn, Ned L. Pines, and Harold Hersey, who later recalled, "Wow! Them was the days! Warren A. Angel was Business Manager and co-owner of my company, Magazine Publishers. We produced Flying Aces, Underworld Magazine and twelve other titles, which were sold by the hundreds of thousands of copies every month. After Bernarr Macfadden and William M. Clayton, Warren A. Angel was the third and most brilliant of all my teachers."
Noah "Ned" Labe Pines was born December 10, 1905 in Massachusetts of Russian Jewish ancestry. His family moved to Brooklyn when he was an infant. At the age of twenty-one, he became a publisher of a joke book, College Life, which was an imitation of the nationally popular magazine, College Humor.
An April 1930 advertisement for Eastern Distributing Company listed their handling of College Life.
In 1930 Modern Sports Publishing Company at 570 Seventh Avenue (and 40th Street) produced Contract Bridge Made Easy and Fifty Games of Cards and How to Play Them by M. A. Goldsmith. The company logo featured a Pine tree and the credo "Better Books." The front and back covers were painted by J. George Janes. That same year Modern Sports Publishing Company also produced Golf Made Easy, Girl Rackets, and a humor magazine, Tickles.
On November 18, 1930 the Royal Pines Hotel opened to the public.
By 1931 Ned L. Pines had formed Thrilling Publications, whose pulp magazines were produced and distributed by Eastern Distributing Corporation.
On July 31, 1931 The New York Times reported that Ned L. Pines had registered Metropolitan Magazines as a newly incorporated business. The first periodicals produced by this company were Thrilling Love and Thrilling Detective. The premiere issues of each magazine was dated November 1931, which suggests they were on newsstands in October. Considering an eight week production schedule, the issues went to press in August of 1931. The indicia of these earliest magazines list the company President as M. A. Goldsmith, while Ned Pines was listed as the Treasurer and Managing Editor. M. A. Goldsmith was Marcus Ahlenfold Goldsmith (1881-1963) of Cleveland, Ohio. He had no family connection with Harold Sanford Goldsmith (1903-1969), who at this same time worked for Warren Angel and Paul Sampliner at Ace Magazine Publications. Marcus A. Goldsmith owned and operated Goldsmith Publications and Child Play Company, which produced children's books, puzzle books, and books about card games. His wife was Etta A. Sampliner of Cleveland, Ohio. She was the cousin of Paul Sampliner. Here again was another proxy member of a corporation who represented Sampliner's business interests.
The executive offices of Metropolitan Magazines was at 570 Seventh Avenue at 40th Street. A companion magazine, Thrilling Adventures, was soon added to the roster. The cover artists of these early issues were J. George Janes, Rafael M. DeSoto and R. G. Harris. The interior art was drawn by Terry Gilkison, Pete Costanza, Stookie Allen, Mel Graff, Lyman Anderson and Don Hewitt.
In June of 1931 Benjamin Sangor's eighteen-year-old daughter, Jacquelyn Sangor, graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, after which she left Chicago and joined her father on the east coast. They lived together at 40 West 67th Street in Manhattan.
In 1931 Benjamin Sangor was indicted on five counts of real estate fraud, larceny and embezzlement of $81,000 from the Tom's River Trust Company Bank. He was arrested and convicted in New Jersey. After the verdict he delayed sentences by filing a long series of appeals.
In 1932 Benjamin Sangor began to advertise for salesmen to sell "Modern Eugenics and Sex" along with a ten-thousand dollar accident insurance policy through Preferred Publications at 56 West 45th Street.
On November 18, 1932 The New York Times reported that The Brevities Publishing Company, which produced scandal sheets in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C., was under indictment by the Federal Grand Jury for interstate sales of obscene material. Those indicted were Moe L. Annenberg, Walter Annenberg (1908-2002), The Walter Holding Company, The Cecilia Investment Company, The Daily Running Horse, and The Maryland Newsstand Corporation. It is worth noting that the President of this last company was Joseph Ottenstein, who was employed for many years at newspapers owned by Moe L. Annenberg, and also served as President of S-M Newsstand Distribution Company, which was the largest affiliated member of the Council of Independent Distributors. According to the U.S. District Attorney all of these companies were interlocked with The Brevities Publishing Co. In an effort to mitigate penalties the Brevities Publishing Company stopped printing scandal sheets in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Nevertheless, the prosecutor sought convictions of five years in jail and fines of $5,000.
On Janaury 19, 1933 "B. W. Sangor & Company" was voided as a corporation for non-payment of New Jersey State taxes.
In 1935 the National Allied Newspaper Syndicate, located at 49 West 45th Street, produced New Fun Comics, the first comic book composed of original materials, rather than re-printed popular comic strips from newspapers. The publisher was Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (1890-1968), and the distributor was Joseph Ottenstein's S-M Newsstand Distribution Company. The printer was The Brooklyn Eagle newspaper, which at that time was published by Millard Preston Goodfellow (1892-1973) another member of the Hearst Executive Committee. As soon as National Allied became profitable it was taken over by Harry Donenfeld and Paul Sampliner and became DC Comics. The editor of New Fun Comics was Lloyd Jacquet. His office stationery listed his executive offices at 45 West 45th Street, but he instructed artists to deliver materials next door to his studio space at 49 West 45th Street.
In 1934 Benjamin Sangor was still running ads for salesmen to sell his "wonderful combination of magazines with books and a ten-thousand dollar insurance policy."
On January 17, 1935 Benjamin Sangor married his second wife, Viola Marion Hartman. She was born September 22, 1908 in Pennsylvania. The bride was twenty-six and the groom was forty-five. The newlyweds moved to New Jersey, where they lived at 16 West Church Street in Bergenfield. His twenty-two-year-old daughter, Jacquelyn Sangor, remained at the NYC apartment, where she enjoyed the life of a wealthy sophisticate, courted by eligible bachelors, including twenty-nine-year-old Ned L. Pines.
On November 2, 1935 Benjamin Sangor's previous conviction for embezzlement was again upheld.
In 1935 the Prudence Bondholders Protective Association filed for bankruptcy. The company was located at 49 West 45th Street. To settle these proceedings, the Brooklyn Federal Court investigated the Prudence Bondholders Protective Association, of which Benjamin Sangor claimed to be the principal founder. He testified before the committee on November 18, 1935 that he contacted the bondholders to sell them prospective homes on Long Island with fraudulent government financing.
On December 25, 1936 Arthur Brisbane died in NYC at the age of seventy-two.
On January 31, 1938, after five years of appeals, Benjamin Sangor's conviction for embezzlement was upheld by New Jersey Supreme Court. He was fined $1000 and taken to Trenton Prison to serve his sentence of two-to-three years.
On September 20, 1938 Benjamin Sangor's daughter, Jacquelyn Sangor, age twenty-five, married Ned Pines, age thirty-two. Benjamin Sangor was not able to attend his daughter's wedding ceremony because he was in jail. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Bermuda and then moved to a luxurious apartment at 25 Central Park South. Their daughter, Judith Ann Pines, was born in NYC on July 25, 1939. Their second daughter, Susan Pines, was born in 1942.
On November 30, 1938 Benjamin Sangor's Preferred Publications, Inc. declared bankruptcy. After which copies of "Modern Eugenics and Sex" were handled by Pioneer Publications, Inc., at 1270 Sixth Avenue. Pioneer Publications was owned by Theodore Epstein.
By 1939 Ned L. Pines had moved his offices to 22 West 48th Street, where he published eleven monthly pulps under various company names, Standard Magazines, Better Publications, Thrilling Publications, and Beacon Publications.
In September of 1939, after serving eighteen months, Benjamin Sangor was paroled from jail in Trenton, NJ. He moved to NYC, where he lived at 205 West 54th Street, and resumed his legal career in affiliation with Moe L. Annenberg, Theodore Epstein, Paul Sampliner, Harry Donenfeld, and his new son-in-law, Ned L. Pines.
In 1939, following the impressive success of Donenfeld's Superman Comics, Ned L. Pines formed Standard Comics.
On September 15, 1939 Ned Pines and Benjamin Sangor, in partnership with Paul Sampliner, registered a newly incorporated business, Cinema Comics, located in the Longacre Building on Broadway and Times Square. The following year it moved to 45 West 45th Street.
The 1940 NYC Business Directory listed Sangor Studios – Art Services at 45 West 45th Street. The same directory also listed the real estate offices of Longacre Properties in the same building. That company handled a significant number of office buildings in the Times Square area. The company president was Irving Maidman, but he later testified that he was not the owner of the company, but instead represented a wealthy syndicate of investors.
On April 23, 1940 Benjamin Sangor spoke with a U.S. Census worker and described his occupation as an "Executive" in the business of "Personal Services." It is worth noting that he did not describe himself as a real estate lawyer, property developer, comic book publisher, or owner of an artist agency. He listed his marital status as married, although his wife was not living with him, because they were in the process of being divorced.
The same District Attorney and Federal Judge who had historically convicted Al Capone of tax evasion, brought similar charges against Moe L. Annenberg, who was convicted on April 20, 1940 to serve three years in Federal prison and to pay a fine of $8,000,000, which was the largest such penalty in U.S. history. Before incarceration he installed his son, Walter Annenberg, as business successor to assure smooth continuity of his vast empire.
On May 5, 1940 Benjamin Sangor sailed on the Steam Ship Mexico to Vera Cruz, where he obtained a speedy and cost effective divorce from his second wife, Viola Marion Hartman Sangor. On June 11, 1940 he returned to NYC, and was listed on the passenger manifest as a widower, age fifty-one, living at 205 West 54th Street.
In March of 1941 Sangor and Sampliner founded Manhattan Fiction Publications at 45 West 45th Street to produce pulp magazines, such as Movie Love Stories, Movie Detective Magazine,and Movie Western Magazine. These magazines were edited by Jerry Albert and included stories written by his father, Andrew Irving Albert. The first magazine from Manhattan Fiction Publications was the June 1941 issue of Movie Love Stories.
The March 1942 issue of Stirring Science Stories was published by Manhattan Fiction Publications. The business manager was Jerry Albert, the editor was Donald A. Wollheim, and the illustrations were drawn by Hannes Bok and Boris Dolgov.
In March 1942 Benjamin Sangor's Manhattan Fiction Publications released Keyhole Detective Cases.
In 1942 during WWII Benjamin William Sangor registered with the selective service as required by law. He was recorded at the time to be fifty three, five-six, 175 pounds, with gray eyes, gray hair, and a ruddy complexion. He listed his closest relative as his married daughter Jacquelyn Pines at 965 Fifth Avenue, NYC. He listed his employer as "Cinema Comics of 45 West 45th Street." That company produced specially designed promotional comic books as give-aways for syndicated movie theaters. In 1941 their first title was for the animated movie, Mr. Bug Goes To Town, from Max Fleischer Studios in Miami, Florida. This company also produced Hearst's "Popeye" cartoons and Donenfeld's "Superman" cartoons.
Moe L. Annenberg's health declined while serving his three-year sentence in Lewisburg Pennsylvania State Prison, until doctors urged his release for medical treatment on June 3, 1942. He traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis for an emergency brain operation, after which he died at the age of sixty-five on July 20, 1942.
In 1942 Cinema Comics produced comic give-aways for Arabian Nights, Lady For A Night, Thunder Birds, and Reap The Wild Wind. In 1943 they produced a comic for Crash Dive, starring Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, and Dana Andrews. Cinema Comics also produced TNT Humor Magazine, a digest-sized joke book.
On August 1, 1942 Benjamin Sangor, in partnership with Paul Sampliner, registered a newly incorporated business, Creston Publications, at 45 West 45th Street. The editor was again Jerry Albert.
In 1943 Benjamin Sangor founded the American Comics Group (ACG) at 45 West 45th Street. Jerry Albert again the editor. Their first titles were Ha-Ha Comics and Giggle Comics. The artists that contributed to these comics included Jim Davis, Jim Tyer, Tony Loeb, and Ken Hultgren.
After three years the editor was replaced by Richard E. Hughes, a talented and friendly writer and editor, who had been working for Ned L. Pines' comic books. The name "Richard E. Hughes" was a pen-name for Leo Rosenbaum (1909-1973).
The 1946 NYC Business Directory listed Sangor Studio - Art Services, Cinema Comics, Creston Publications Corporation, and ACG at 45 West 45th Street.
Artists contributing to ACG included Ogden Whitney, Ken Bald, Jon L. Blummer, Sam Copper, Jim Davis, Fred Guardiner, Henry C. Kiefer, Leo Morey, Charles Quinlan, Gus Ricca, Kingsland Ward, R. S. Pious, W. B. Smith, Richard Case, Tom Hickey, Alice Kirkpatrick, Robert McCarty, Paul Gustavson, Pete Costanza, Wally Wood, Roy Krenkel, Robert Jenney.
On June 16, 1946 Harry and Gussie Donenfeld were proud to inform society columnists that their son and daughter were both engaged. Irwin Donenfeld (b. 1926) would marry Arlene Judith Levy, a Law School graduate, and Sonia Donenfeld (b.1928) would marry Frederick H. Iger (b.1924), a veteran of WWII Army Corps of Engineers and a student at NYU. As soon as he graduated Harry Donenfeld made his new Son-In-Law co-owner of ACG at 45 West 45th Street.
In March of 1947 Benjamin Sangor's Manhattan Fiction Publications copyrighted, "Harem Nights" by B. J. Vaswani. According to its mail order advertisement in the back-pages of pulp magazines, "Harem Nights is a new novel of romance in the harems of two sheikhs of Tunis."
In 1950 Mr. & Mrs. Frederick H. Iger lived at 50 Beverly Road in Great Neck, NY.
In July of 1951 ACG began to sell the first issue of the comic book Forbidden Worlds. The indicia identified the publisher as Preferred Publications with executive offices at 45 West 45th Street. Richard E. Hughes was listed as editor and Frederick H. Iger was the business manager. Preferred Publications was the name of Benjamin Sangor's 1928 company that produced "Modern Eugenics and Sex Relations," which he sold along with $10,000 insurance policies, for which he was indicted in 1935, after which Preferred Publications declared bankruptcy in 1938, although Theodore Epstein's "Pioneer Publications" continued to sell the same book in the back page advertisements of comics and pulps.
In 1951 Benjamin Sangor married Francis Unger Stotter (1895-1964). She was born on February 5, 1895 in NYC. Her younger sister, Sophie Unger, was the wife of Paul Sampliner. At the time of their marriage Benjamin Sangor was age sixty-two and Francis Unger Stotter was age fifty-five. She was the widow of Leo Stotter (1886-1946) of Dayton Ohio, with whom she had two children, Jacob "Jack" Stotter (1920-2005) and Don Unger Stotter (1928-1998). At the time of her second marriage, both of her sons were adults, starting their own families in Dayton.
After the wedding, Benjamin Sangor retired from publishing and moved with his wife to Miami, Florida. His only continuing role in the company was as a corporate proxy representative of Paul Sampliner's business interests.
In 1952 the Statement of Ownership for ACG listed the owners as "Preferred Publications Incorporated and B. W. Sangor."
Two years later, Benjamin Sangor died in Florida at the age of sixty-three on January 26, 1953.
After his death the ownership statement of ACG listed the owners as Frances U. Sangor and Frederick H. Iger. Her name replaced Benjamin Sangor's as the proxy representative of the business interests of her brother-in-law, Paul Sampliner.
In April of 1953 Cinema Comics and Creston Publications were both dissolved as corporations. At that time all stock in both companies was owned by Frances U. Sangor, in lieu of her brother-in-law, Paul Sampliner. The company name was changed to Regis Publications. Regis is "S-Iger" spelled backwards. The "S" stands for Sangor, as well as Sampliner.
Several other relatives of Paul Sampliner held a similar positions as corporate proxy members. The February 1946 issue of Speed Detective Stories from Trojan Publishing Corporation included a Statement of Ownership that listed the owners as Frank Armer and his wife, Janet De Pinna Armer, Michael Estrow and his wife, Anna Estrow, Harry Donenfeld's wife, Gussie Donenfeld, as well as three additional owners, Joseph Wasserman, Alice Wasserman, and Linda Wasserman. These last three are a lawyer from Dayton, Ohio, his wife, and daughter. The lawyer's wife, Alice Unger Wasserman, was another sister of Paul Sampliner's wife, Sophie Unger Sampliner. The inclusion of three proxy owners from the family of Paul Sampliner reflected his stature as the majority shareholder on the board of this incorporated business.
In July of 1959 Ned Pines divorced Jacquelyn Sangor Pines through the Civil Court of Alabama. After the divorce, she lived at the Savoy Hilton Hotel on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street.
Frances Unger Stotter Sangor left her retirement home in Florida and moved back to Dayton, Ohio, to live with the families of her two sons. She died at the age of sixty-nine on April 1, 1964.
On May 11, 1965 Jacquelyn Sangor Pines died at the age of fifty-two in NYC.
© David Saunders 2016