Jack Tramiel

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Jack Tramiel (Polish: Jacek Trzmiel) (born 13 December 1928) is a businessman, best known for founding Commodore International[1] - manufacturer of the Commodore PET, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Commodore Amiga, and other Commodore models of home computers. He is known for his hard-driving style and cutthroat deal-making[citation needed].



Tramiel was born as Jacek Trzmiel in Łódź, Poland.[2]

After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 his family was transported by German occupiers to the Jewish ghetto in Łódź, where he worked in a garment factory. When the ghettos were liquidated his family was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was examined by Dr. Mengele and selected for a work party, after which he and his father were sent to the labor camp Ahlem near Hanover, while his mother remained at Auschwitz. Like many other inmates, his father was reported to have died of Typhus in the work camp; however, Tramiel believes he was killed by an injection of gasoline. Tramiel was rescued from the labor camp in April 1945 by the 84th Infantry Division.

In November 1947, Tramiel emigrated to the United States. He soon joined the army, where he learned how to repair office equipment, including typewriters.


Typewriters and calculators

In 1953, while working as a taxi driver, he bought a shop in the Bronx to repair office machinery,[3] and named it Commodore Portable Typewriter. Tramiel secured a $25,000 loan for the business from a U.S. Army entitlement.[4]

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