Text of award of recognition given to Samuel Abend by the Motion Picture
Association of Greater Kansas City.
The life story of Sam Abend is typical of the
American tradition, in that it tells of an immigrant boy who came to the United
States and by dint of hard work rose to business success. But Sam’s success went
beyond mere business, for he earned the far greater wealth of an abundance of
friends, the respect and affection of his fellowmen in his community and
throughout the industry of which he became a vital part.
At the age of 17, Sam arrived alone at
Galveston, Texas, in 1913, from his native Poland, with four dollars in his
pocket. His point of destination was Kansas City, which he had heard was a
growing community, and he managed to get there despite his meager funds,
inability to speak English and other handicaps. His first job was that of a
Baker’s handyman, driving a truck, helping in the baking and doing anything that
was required of him.
Shortly after America’s entry in World War I,
Sam enlisted in the U.S. Army and became a citizen of his adopted country. When
he returned to civilian life, he started in business for himself with a
second-hand automobile in which he delivered motion picture films to theatres in
both Kansas Cities. From that small beginning there grew the Exhibitors Film
Delivery Service, whose operations extend throughout the middlewest. And he also
became the owner of several motion picture theatres.
A man of great family devotion, Sam brought
his mother, three brothers and a sister and their families from Poland to Kansas
City, where he started them all in business for themselves. His generosity
extended far beyond his immediate family, for he took an inordinate interest in
the underprivileged, the sick and the lame, initiating and participating in many
worthwhile charity movements.
Small in stature but big in heart, Sam won
the admiration of all with whom he came in contact, in social, civic and
business life. He was indeed, a man among men, whose fine qualities should serve
as heartwarming inspiration from which boys who seek to make their way in the
world may take example.
Sponsored by the
Motion Picture Association
Greater Kansas City
Image of Award