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Leopold Saxe "Leo" Godowsky, Jr
Birth: May 27, 1900
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Feb. 18, 1983
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

Leopold Godowsky, Jr. was an American violinist and chemist, who together with Leopold Mannes created the first practical color transparency film, Kodachrome. He was the son of "the pianist's pianist," Leopold Godowsky.

On 10 November 1930, he married Frances Gershwin -- the sister of George and Ira -- and they had four children: Alexis Gershwin, Leopold Godowsky III, Georgia Keidan, and Nadia Natali.

Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes were teenage friends who shared a passion for violin, piano, and photography. The two experimented with photography, determined to find a way to take color photographs. They first combined colored filters and multiple black-and-white exposures in 1916 in an attempt to break light down into red, blue, and yellow. In 1917, they saw an early "color" movie called "Our Navy." They thought the color was awful, and, despite their intense musical studies, decided to try to improve on it.

Although Godowsky enrolled at UCLA, and Mannes at Harvard, their photographic work continued. Eventually, Godowsky, by now a working violinist, moved back east. He and Mannes patented one color process, but it was not commercially viable. Then, on his way to perform in Europe in 1922, Mannes happened to meet a partner in the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company, who became intrigued with Mannes's description of the work he and Godowsky were doing. The partner sent a young associate, Lewis Strauss, to the Mannes apartment to view the progress. Strauss was convinced, and Kuhn, Loeb invested.

With financial backing, Godowsky and Mannes (who were referred to by colleagues as "God and Man") built their own lab and won more patents. By 1930 Kodak was so impressed that it lured the young musicians to Rochester to work with Kodak scientists. Within five years, Kodachrome was born, and the age of real, accurate, and practical color photography began. Patent number 1997493 was issued 9 April 1935.

Godowsky was awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal in 1940.

Godowsky and Mannes were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005.

The Photographic Resource Center at Boston University has a biennial award for Color Photography named in honor of Leopold Godowsky Jr.

Leopold Godowsky Jr. and Leopold Mannes returned to music, Godowsky becoming a respected violinist, sometimes performing with his father. He was first violinist with the Los Angeles and the San Francisco Symphony orchestras. Mannes became president of the Mannes College of Music.


Cremated. Urn is in the Gershwin family mausoleum.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Leopold Godowsky (1870 - 1938)
  Frederica Saxe Godowsky (1870 - 1933)
 
 Spouse:
  Frances Gershwin Godowsky (1906 - 1999)*
 
 Children:
  Leopold Godowsky (1938 - 2011)*
 
 Siblings:
  Vanita Hedwig Godowsky Saperton (1892 - 1961)*
  Mercedes Dagmar Godowsky Mayo (1897 - 1975)*
  Leopold Saxe Godowsky (1900 - 1983)
  Gutram Godowsky (1905 - 1932)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Westchester Hills Cemetery
Hastings-on-Hudson
Westchester County
New York, USA
Plot: Gershwin family mausoleum
 
Created by: Researcher
Record added: Nov 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61278763
Leopold Saxe Leo Godowsky, Jr
Added by: Researcher
 
Leopold Saxe Leo Godowsky, Jr
Added by: Researcher
 
Leopold Saxe Leo Godowsky, Jr
Added by: Researcher
 
 
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- R I P
 Added: Dec. 6, 2014

- Kat
 Added: Jul. 11, 2014

- DSmith
 Added: May. 11, 2014
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