Controlling My Own Destiny
By Richard Gelfond on September 8, 2012
MY parents raised me in a blue-collar neighborhood of Plainview, N.Y., on Long Island. My mother was a homemaker and my father was a furrier, a job that left him unemployed for months at a time, because no one bought fur coats during the summer.
One day I was visiting my father at work, and his supervisor told him that it was time to get back to work. From that day, I decided I wanted to be in control of my own destiny. I began by shining shoes and mowing lawns, then working as a shipping clerk at a fabric company. I’m a born entrepreneur, and in junior high school I started a monthly newspaper,The New York Ball, to carry news of New York sports teams. I enlisted other students to sell the paper at Madison Square Garden and Nassau Coliseum, and sold it at New York City newsstands and via subscriptions. I signed on some big advertisers like Keds shoes.