by Ryand Torok, Jewish Journal
Television icon and philanthropist Monty Hall died on September 30 at the age of 96.
For decades, Hall lived a double life: ebullient game show host and celebrity to millions by day, and, when not on camera, indefatigable fundraiser and philanthropist for Jewish and other causes.
Renowned for co-creating and hosting Let’s Make a Deal, Hall was equally if not more proud of raising, by some estimates, more than $1 billion for charity.
Monte Halparin was born August 25, 1921 in Winnipeg, Canada, the son of Rose and Maurice. His Orthodox Jewish family was in the kosher meat business, and Hall grew up delivering orders on his bicycle. His mother, Rose, was a schoolteacher, performer and Hadassah regional president who Hall once called a “combination of Golda Meir and [Yiddish actress] Molly Picon.”
The family struggled and lived in close quarters. Hall couldn’t afford to stay in college, so he dropped out. Fortunately, a Jewish businessman and friend of the family, Max Freed, altered the trajectory of Hall’s life. When Hall was 19, Freed, 10 years Hall’s senior, offered to pay for Hall’s college education, but with three conditions: His grades had to be B-plus or higher, he had to report regularly to Freed on his progress, and, most importantly, he had to promise that one day he would do the same to a kid who needed help.
Hall seized the opportunity. He re-enrolled at the University of Manitoba, frequently checking in with Freed to inform him of his grades. In 1945, he earned his degree.
© 2017 Tribe Media Corp