William Fox

William Fox

Fort Lee, N.J.

William Fox was a pioneering motion picture executive who built a multimillion-dollar enterprise controlling a large portion of the exhibition, distribution, and production of film facilities during the era of silent film. He founded the Fox Film Corporation, the progenitor of the Twentieth Century-Fox studios, in Fort Lee in 1915 with financing he obtained from Newark’s Prudential Insurance Company. Fox ran his studios in Fort Lee until 1919 when he moved the operations to California where the studios flourished in the 1920s. In 1927 Fox produced the news series Movietone News, the first commercially successful sound film, and his acclaimed film Sunrise won the first—and still only—Oscar for “Unique and Artistic Production.”

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