Arnold Spielberg, a pioneer in computer design and the man who helped encourage his son, Steven Spielberg, to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker, died on August 25, as reported by Business Wire. He was 103.
Arnold Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on February 6, 1917. During World War II, he served as a radio operator and chief communications man for the 490th Bomb Squadron and volunteered for two tours in the China Burma India Theater, Business Wire reported. Spielberg, who was awarded a Bronze Star, inspired his son to direct the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
After returning from the war, Spielberg married his first wife, Leah Posner (who later remarried and became Leah Adler), with whom he had four children: Steven, Anne, Sue and Nancy.
Spielberg graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1949 and put his electrical engineering degree to work for RCA, where he designed electrical circuits for missile systems, according to THR. He moved to General Electric in Schenectady, New York, in 1955 before relocating the whole family to Phoenix in 1957 “to set up G.E.’s Industrial Computer Department,” the outlet reported.
Spielberg, who THR reported designed the first electronic cash register, said during a 2016 interview, “The first computers I built were data-acquisition systems. Their job was to monitor defects. Another computer called GE-312 monitored a turbine for Southern California Edison.”
Spielberg moved his family to California in 1963, and he and his wife were divorced in 1965. After a brief second marriage, Spielberg married Bernice Colner in 1997, according to THR. Colner died in 2016. Adler, his first wife, died in 2017.
Spielberg is survived by his four children and their spouses: Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw; Anne Spielberg and her husband, Danny Opatoshu; Sue Spielberg and her husband Jerry Pasternak; and Nancy Spielberg and her husband, Shimon Katz. He also had four stepchildren, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Steven Spielberg Shared Moving Last Words to His Father
The family was able to gather around Spielberg during his final days. According to Business Wire, Steven Spielberg told his father, “You are our hearth. You are our home.”
In June 2016, Arnold Spielberg joined his son at the American Film Institute’s 44th Annual Gala to honor composer John Williams with the Life Achievement Award. During the ceremony, he congratulated the legendary film composer, who created the music for more than 20 of his son’s films, including Jaws, E.T. the Extra-terrestrial and Schindler’s List. Spielberg also got to chat with actor Harrison Ford, who starred in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
As they gathered around their father before his death, Spielberg’s four children whispered to him, “Thank you for my life. I love you, Dad, Daddy, Daddelah. And then so then, and then so then, what happens next…” Business Wire reported.
Steven Spielberg’s Mother Leah Adler Died at Age 97
Steven Spielberg’s mother, Leah Adler, died at age 97 on February 21, 2017, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A former concert pianist and painter, she opened up a kosher restaurant in West Los Angeles called The Milky Way.
After divorcing Spielberg, Adler remarried to Bernie Adler in 1967. Together, they moved from Scottsdale, Arizona, to Los Angeles, California. Her husband preceded her in death at age 75 in 1995.
Amblin Entertainment, Steven Spielberg’s production company, released a statement following Adler’s death:
While known for her red lipstick and Peter Pan collars, for her love of daisies, for her blue jeans and sparkly bling, for her dancing from table to table around the Milky Way, and for her love of camping, fishing, and crossword puzzles, Leah is best remembered for her deep, limitless love for the people around her.