B. P. Schulberg
B.P. Schulberg was a pioneer film producer and movie studio executive.
Born Percival Schulberg in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he took the name Benjamin from the boy in front of him when registering for school to avoid mockery for his British name. He worked in the fledgling film industry in New York City until 1919 when he moved to Hollywood, California where he operated “Preferred Pictures” and was responsible for making Clara Bow a star. He joined Louis B. Mayer to form “Mayer-Schulberg Studio” but after Mayer became part of MGM, Schulberg would join with Adolph Zukor and became the head of Paramount Pictures.
In an era when the film industry was filled with conservative studio executives, B.P. Schulberg was a “New Deal” liberal, described by Moving Pictures magazine as “a political liberal in the reactionary world of Mayer and Hearst.” His wife Adeline Jaffe-Schulberg founded a talent agency taken over by her brother, producer/talent agent Sam Jaffe. She spent little time with Hollywood society women, instead working for charities that aided the poor and promoting socialism. She subsequently had a literary agency in New York. They were the parents of renowned novelist and screenwriter, Budd Schulberg, producer Stuart Schulberg, and writer Sonya Schulberg O’Sullivan.
In a power struggle at Paramount, Schulberg left the studio in 1937 and remained out of the business until 1940 when he began producing for Columbia Pictures. He produced six films for Columbia in three years until he retired in 1943.