Paul Goldenberg, the man many considered “the King” of Southern California’s big screen TV retailers, has died of natural causes at age 87, according to a statement on his company’s Facebook page.
He founded Paul’s TV in 1964 with a $1,000 loan, and was perhaps best known for his commercial catchphrase, “I am the King.”
The entrepreneur, philanthropist and movie buff was also known for his business philosophy: keep prices low, deliver on the day of purchase and remember the customer is always right.
“Today, as a company and community, we mourn the loss of our “King of Big Screens,” said the Facebook statement, which was posted Friday. “In 1964, our founder, Paul Goldenberg, had the vision to bring bring screens into our homes with an unwavering commitment to service and selection.
“His warmth, wisdom and concern for others will leave a lifelong impression in the hearts and lives of all who knew him. Paul, you were a King, rest in peace.”
Goldenberg opened a small TV repair shop in Hollywood in the 1950s before moving to La Habra in 1964, and the name from Coast TV to Paul’s TV, according to TWICE.com, a blog focusing on consumer electronics.
The nickname “King of the big TV” was introduced in 1978 when Goldenberg started advertising the introduction of big-screen TVs at his store. For decades, Paul’s TV was noted as the biggest single-store retailer of Mitsubishi big-screen TVs.
Goldenberg’s love of classic Hollywood movies lead to his becoming one of the early retailers to embrace big-screen TVs as a way to experience a more theater-style viewing experience.
“He figured it out before a lot of people did,” former Mitsubishi supplier Bob Sodergren told the Los Angeles Times. “He was the real pioneer who understood the value of big screens and put them in the marketplace.”
In 2006, the store was sold to former Circuit City and Good Guys executive Babak Ghaznavi and now includes seven stores in California and four in New England.
Goldenberg was also involved in several charitable ventures including the City of Hope, the Los Angeles Jewish Home and funding scholarships for high school students.
He is survived by his son, Douglas, and a granddaughter. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Goldenberg’s memory to the Jewish Home or the City of Hope.
—City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: