- August 24, 1920 - June 10, 2013
Murray Goldman was born in Opatow, Poland August 24, 1920 and moved to Montreal when he was three years old. By 13, Murray had quit school to contribute to family income and by 16 he was a shy salesman with the Fuller Brush Company. Soon Murray was attracted to fashion - and began his fashion career by sweeping floors and selling shirts and ties at Cortly's Menswear. At 21, Murray was recruited into the army stationed in Comox, BC where he became a member of the Canadian Army Boxing Team. On leaving the army, Murray moved to Vancouver, got a job at the Hudson Bay Company and in 1944 he married local girl, Shirley Lapides. Murray and Shirley had two children: David and Penny.
Murray Goldman turned the store that carried his name into the store that carried his personality and in doing so he discovered that the best way to sell suits was to sell himself. Murray then embarked on a marketing campaign that is today the stuff of local legend by writing, narrating, voicing, appearing and directing his own print, radio and TV commercials. He was a 1-man marketing show - with a very funny brand of totally off-the-wall humor. Through his flamboyant marketing and gimmicks Murray opened more stores with a young men's department called The Ivy Room. Murray became sought-after personality and MC of many fund raising 'roasts'. He wrote a famous daily "tidbits" column in the now defunct Vancouver News Herald, and ended them with the mysterious words...."good evening Mrs. Johnson". In time, Murray had a half hour Sunday morning comedy show on CKNW. He was so well liked that in 1964 he was voted Vancouver's most popular radio personality, on the strength of his commercials alone!
Behind the scenes, Murray was committed to his family and his Orthodox Jewish faith. He was president of the Schara Tzedeck Synagogue Men's Club, a founding member of today's Jewish Community Centre, a fifty-year member of B'nai B'rith, and a long time board member of the Louis Briar Home for Jewish seniors. Dedicated to community service, Murray was and a member of Variety Club International for over fifty years and while awards were not his motivation, he accumulated a list of awards that go on longer than his tape measure:
1971 - Businessman of the Year - Vancouver Junior Chamber of Commerce
1972 - Man of the Year by Big Brothers
1974 - Man of the Year by Canadian Council of Christians and Jews
1982 - Big Brothers created the 'Murray Goldman Award' given annually to the person or organization showing exemplary support towards Big Brothers.
1986 - Vancouver Centennial Award by the Governor-General of Canada
1988 - Presidents Advisory Board of the Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
1989 - Honorary Chairman, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
1990 - National Presidents Award; Big Brothers of Canada
2000 - Order of British Columbia
2003 - Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.