The Moguls During the Early Motion Picture Industry

The men and women who pioneered the Movie industry.

They were an interesting breed.  Part showmen, part gambler, part entrepreneur, part renegade, and 100% risk-takers.

They were characters, oddballs, inventors, and businessmen.  Many were immigrants with an entrepreneurial spirit. They made their money by the seat of their pants, not on superior business skills or outstanding movie making.  They did everything by instinct, opportunism, exploitation, and, many times, on just a whim.  Most of them failed miserably, some of them succeeded, and some built empires that endure to this day.

Nearly all of them have faded into history, just a footnote in some obscure book or website.  Though mostly forgotten, their stories, their work, their studios are the stuff that legends are made of, and are the foundation on which the entire entertainment industry is built.

Before we forget who they were, let's memorialize them and their stories.

Featured Moguls

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Alice Guy-Blaché

The First Lady of
Movie Producers

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Jules Brulatour

The Man Who Financed
Fort Lee

Cecil B. DeMille

Founding partner of Paramount Pictures Studios

Mark Dintenfass Thumb
Mark Dintenfass

Fort Lee's first studio owner and an original owner of Universal

Thomas Edison

Inventor and owner of 3 studios

William Fox

One of Hollywood's
most successful movie makers

Sam Goldwyn

The greatest of the Independents 

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D.W, Griffith

"The Father of the Movies"

David Horsley

The Man Who
Invented Hollywood

Thomas Ince

Owned 3 studios,
Managed others

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Carl Laemmle

Universal Studios

Jessse L. Lasky

Founding partner of Paramount Pictures Studios

Nat Levine

Long time producer and owner of Mascot Studios

Marcus Loew

The theater owner who bought his own studios

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Siegmund Lubin

The Independent
from Philly

Louis B. Mayer

Iconic manager of MGM from 1925 until the 1950s

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Mack Sennett

The "Laugh Factory"
"The King of Comedy"

William Selig

L.A.'s first studio owner

David O
David O. Selznick

Hollywood's great independent producer

Lewis J
Lewis J. Selznick

The movie industry's
"Court Jester"

Irving Thalberg

"The Boy Wonder" head of production at MGM

King Vidor

The Gentle Independent

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Adolph Zukor

The most powerful
man in Hollywood

Complete Moguls List

Click a Mogul to view his biography (not all are clickable)

Harry Aitkin

Gilbert M. "Bronco Billy" Anderson

Robert Aldrich

Fred Balshoffer

Sam Bishoff

Alice Guy Blache

J. Stuart Blackton and Albert Smith

Hobart Bosworth

Herbert Brenon

Steve Broidy

Jules Brolatour

Trem Carr

Charles Chaplin

Christie Brothers

William H. Clune

Harry Conn, Jack Cohn, Joe Brand

Larry Darmour

Cecil B. DeMille

Maxwell Demille


Mark Dintenfass

Walt Disney

Thomas Edison

Francis Ford

William Fox

John Freuler

John Jasper

Harry Garson

Phil Goldstone

Samuel Goldwyn (Goldfish)

D.W. Griffith

E.W. "Earle" Hammons

William Randolf Hearst

Horkheimer Brothers

David Horsley

Samuel Hutchinson

Charles Hite

Thomas Ince

Ray Johnson

Sam Katzman

Adam Kessel and Charles Bauman

George Kleine

Stanley Kramer

Carl Laemmle

Jesse Lasky

Henry Lehrman

Sol Lesser

Nat Levine

Ralph M. Like

Samuel Long

Sigmund Lubin

Lumiere Brothers

Marcus Loew

Charles Pathe

Leo Maloney

Manka Brothers

Frank Marion

Louis B. Mayer

Leo McCarey

Georges Méliès

Oscar Micheaux

Oliver Morosco

Eadweard Muybridge

Sigmund Neufel

Marshall Neilan

Richard Norman

Nasser Brothers

Nassour Brothers

Sydney Olcott (Kalem)

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks

Charles Ray

Hal Roach

Jesse Robbins

B.A. Rolf

Richard Rowland

B. P. Schulberg

Nicholas Schenck

David O. Selznick

Myron Selznick

Lewis J. Selznick

Mack Sennett

William Selig

George K. Spoor

John Stahl

Stern Brothers

Ruth Stonehouse

Thomas Tally

Irving Thalberg

King Vidor

Walter Wanger

Jack Warner, Sam Warner, Harry Warner,

Orson Welles

Ted and Leo Wharton

Doc Willlat

Irvin Willat

Herbert J. Yates

Clara Kimball Young

Daryl Zannuck

Adolpf Zukor

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ATTENTION: This page is a Work-in-Progress.  Check back to see the completed page.

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