Paul Goldenberg, known as the “King of Big Screens” and community philanthropist died Friday of natural causes at his La Habra Heights home at the age of 87.
Goldenberg was best known to the community for his local TV showroom that was located on Harbor Boulevard. However, he was a philanthropist and his generosity greatly benefited a number of charities and organizations, many of which were local.
Over his life, Goldenberg donated more than $20 million to nonprofit organizations like the La Habra Boys and Girls Club, The Gary Center, Help for Brain Injured Children, Blue Star Families, and many more.
He helped fund scholarships for students, the City of Hope and the Los Angeles Jewish Home. He was also a major donor to the Democratic Party.
Goldenberg was born in Los Angeles on April 22, 1928 to his parents who were Jewish immigrants.
An admitted movie buff, Goldenberg would recycle bottles in the 1930s to collect money to pay to watch movies on the weekends.
He graduated early from Dorsey High School and started at UCLA when he was just 16. However, he decided college wasn’t for him and after two weeks, he left school.
He started his media career as a photographer in the U.S. Army in the 1940s.
After taking a $1,000 loan, he opened his first repair shop in Los Angeles in the early 1950s. He quickly moved into the retail end, selling televisions from his repair shop.
After moving to La Habra in 1964, he opened his first showroom on Harbor Boulevard.
He focused on customer service, making sure his employees were courteous and efficient. He instructed his workers to always answer questions and his delivery teams to always wipe their feet before entering a person’s home.
As technology advanced to include projection television, Goldenberg moved to specializing in selling big screen televisions, where he became the self-proclaimed “King” in his advertising campaigns.
While his business grew and he was delivering televisions from Ventura to San Diego counties, he never forgot the La Habra community and what it meant to him.
Aside from his philanthropy, he tried to use resources in La Habra. For one of his commercials in the late 1980s, he filmed it with the La Habra High School football team at the school’s stadium. When he saw that the filming was going longer than expected and that the players had not eaten, he ordered that the shooting be stopped and had a local restaurant bring in food for everyone.
In 2006, Goldenberg sold Paul’s TV to a private equity company that decided to keep his name. He then focused more on his philanthropy.
While he gave a lot to the community, he often would request to be anonymous. Despite his picture with his crown, he preferred to remain out of the spotlight and just described himself as just a guy who used to own a TV shop.
Services were held Sunday at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
Goldenberg is survived by his son, Douglas, his granddaughter Lucy and Douglas’ mother, Carol Toni Goldenberg.
It is requested that in lieu of flowers, people should make a donation in memory of Paul to the Los Angeles Jewish Home or the City of Hope.