Samuel (Sam) Eckstein of Atlanta passed away Monday, April 17, 2017, at the age of 87.
He was born in Slovakia (then Czechoslovakia) on June 19, 1929, to Martin and Molly Eckstein. Sam immigrated to the United States in 1937. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1946 and was honorably discharged in 1949. Sam was recalled into the service during the Korean War, serving for one year. One of the highlights of his service was being in Shanghai in 1949 when Mao Zedong captured the city without firing a shot. Sam was stationed on the USS General W.A. Mann, a troop-carrying ship evacuating the last dependents back to the United States from Shanghai.
Sam returned to school in 1953 to study radio and TV production. During his years in TV, Sam had the opportunity to work as the lead cameraman on “Wide Wide World” with Dave Garroway, the first host of the “Today” show. He also produced and directed a 19-hour telethon starring Johnny Carson. Sam worked his way south at several TV stations as a producer-director until he arrived in Atlanta at WXIA-TV.
Sam Eckstein Advertising was born in 1960 and was his profession for over 45 years. Sam handled advertising campaigns for Maynard Jackson for the U.S. Senate, Chief Justice William Henry Duckworth for re-election to the Georgia Supreme Court, and Buddy Folks, Milton Farris and others running for alderman in the city of Atlanta. He had many other diversified accounts, such as Paschal’s La Carousel Lounge, Paschal’s Restaurant and Paschal’s Motor Hotel during the height of the civil rights movement, plus Fan & Bill’s Restaurant and the Ambassador Restaurant. His other accounts included Hub Ford and Landmark Dodge. He also handled public relations for such luminaries as Aretha Franklin, Betty White, Jayne Mansfield, Frankie Avalon, and Israeli Maj. Gen. Joshua Saguy, who masterminded and implemented the destruction of the nuclear reactor in Iraq. Sam was a member of the Jewish War Veterans, vice president of ORT Atlanta, board member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue, and member of the Variety Club, the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum and the William Breman Jewish Home.
Sam is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn G. Eckstein; brother and sister-in-law Harold and Harriet Eckstein; six nieces and nephews; 14 great-nieces and -nephews; and over 50 great-great-nieces and -nephews.
Sign the online guestbook at www.edressler.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice. A graveside funeral was held Wednesday, April 19, at Arlington Memorial Park with Rabbi Neil Sandler officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.