Schwarz, Sherwood : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Schwarz, Sherwood

Sherwood Schwarz's stock in trade is dazzling clients with offers they can't refuse. As a life insurance salesman and estate planner, he has risen to mogul-like status with clients the likes of Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler. Now, he adds to his formidable career his newest endeavor as owner of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Passionate and determined in everything he takes on, Schwarz has a deep commitment to his Jewish roots, exemplified by his very active work in philanthropy, heavily supporting charities like the United Jewish Appeal, and attending synagogue on Saturdays in Toronto. He declares that his team will follow in his footsteps and not play on either Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur - "I've never worked on those days and neither will my team," Schwarz divides his time between his home in New York City and Toronto. He has been married to his wife, Marion, for 48 years. They have three children Jeffrey, Carrie and Jacqueline, and three grandchildren.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. November 1930

Career Highlights:
Schwartz was born on the Lower East Side of New York as an only child of Jack and Anna, immigrants from Romania and Russia. The Great Depression swept his family into a hard life of poverty from which he has risen to great heights. "We lived on the third floor of a 300 square foot tenement." His only escape was playing basketball with his pals at Stuyvesant High School and working in the Catskill Mountains during summer and Christmas vacations. It was there he made his money for the year and met his future wife Marion Lulla.

Schwarz graduated City College of New York with degrees in business administration and accounting. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War - working as an auditor, he dabbled in the accounting world and entertainment world working for William Morris Theatrical Agency and eventually ended up in insurance. Using his impressive contacts and experience, he quickly rose to the top of his field and has remained there to this day.

In December, 1999, Schwarz purchased the Toronto Argonauts and turned his entrepreneurial expertise to the relentless pursuit of resurrecting the team. He immediately chopped ticket prices by 15% and lifted the television blackout on games, which has helped boost television ratings to record highs. He also added a slew of creative gimmicks at football games, handing out thousands of dollars in prizes to fans. Sherwood has said, "My commitment is to make the Argo experience more affordable and fun for families, and make the Toronto Argonauts the best team in the league. I'm working on it."

New York City

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