Mr David Sarnoff

Mr David Sarnoff was born in Uzlyany, near Minsk, Russia, in 1891.

Sarnoff had been involved with wireless telegraphy since 1906. As station manager for the Marconi wireless station atop the Wanamaker department store in New York, Sarnoff and two assistants collected signals from the Olympic confirming the sinking of Titanic and intercepted messages from the Carpathia to the Marconi station at Cape Race with the names of survivors.  After a rubdown at a Turkish steam bath, he continued to collect and report names and relay them to the press from the Marconi station at Sea Gate in Brooklyn.

In 1915 Sarnoff began proposing an inexpensive home radio receiver for broadcast programs. In 1919 he became commercial manager of the Radio Corporation of America. He helped form the National Broadcasting Company in 1926 as a subsidiary of RCA, and established an experimental television station in 1928.  Sarnoff was elected president of RCA in 1930, a post he held until 1947.  In 1939 he introduced regularly scheduled television programming in the United States at the New York World's Fair, and oversaw the invention of an electronic, monochrome-compatible, color TV system that became the basis for analog color systems around the world.  Sarnoff served RCA as chairman of the board from 1947 to 1970.

David Sarnoff died in 1971 of complications from a mastoid infection.


David Sarnoff at work
L'Illustré, revue Hebdomadaire Suisse  (1956) 

Articles and Stories

Variety (1956) 
New York Times (1912) 


Alexander B. Magoun, Ph.D., David Sarnoff Library, Princeton NJ

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2008) David Sarnoff (ref: #2469, last updated: 15th April 2008, accessed 6th July 2020 17:10:54 PM)