Herschel "Harry" Saltzman (October 27, 1915 – September 28, 1994) was a Canadian theatre and film producer. He is best remembered for co-producing the first nine of the James Bond film series with Albert R. Broccoli. He lived most of his life in Denham, Buckinghamshire, England.
Saltzman was born in a hospital in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the son of Jewish immigrants Abraham Saltzman and Dora Horstein. He was raised in Saint John, New Brunswick for the first seven years of his life. His father, a horticulturalist, immigrated to the US in 1905 from Kozienice, Poland (then the Russian Empire), marrying Dora in 1909. The couple moved to Canada in 1910 where their four oldest children (Minnie, Florence, Harry and Isadore) were born, before moving the family to Cleveland, Ohio where their youngest son, David, was born. Harry ran away from home at the age of 15. Saltzman was 30 when he learned where he had actually been born.
At about age 17, Saltzman joined a circus and travelled with them for some years.
In 1932, Saltzman moved to Paris to study political science and economics. However within a year, he was "hand-picking talent for 40 two-a-day vaudeville houses all over Europe." Saltzman claimed that he had worked as an assistant for French film director René Clair, who came to the United States in 1940 to make the film The Flame of New Orleans.
In 1942, Saltzman signed a booking contract with Fanchon & Marco Enterprises. Saltzman went to the West Coast to sign big picture names. Saltzman sought the Ritz Brothers, but due to film commitments, they could not sign. In 1943, Saltzman was managing The Gilbert Brothers' Combined Circus. According to an advert, the 1943 season began 26 May in Clifton, New Jersey, and was booked solid through the Eastern American states until mid-October.
Shortly after World War II began, he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force in Vancouver. He received a medical discharge in Trenton, Ontario in 1943, and joined the U.S. Psychological Warfare Bureau, because he wanted to get back to Europe. Saltzmann was initially stationed at the North African theatre in 1943 before being reassigned to London.
In 1945, Saltzman helped Lin Yutang establish UNESCO's film division, which was initially focused on trying to mediate the Chinese Civil War between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang. He eventually quit due to "east-west differences" which to him seemed "so hopeless". Saltzman spent a year with the French government's Ministry of Reconstruction. At that point, he decided he wanted back in show business. ...
Source: Article "Harry Saltzman" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.