In 1913, Harold
Lehman was born to Rachel and Abraham Lehman. Both Rae and Abe were
immigrants from Europe who had arrived to New York City just after the
turn of the century. By the time his parents were in their early twenties
they were parents to five children. Lehman was one of two boys born
to them in a second set of twins.
In the early years
Abe did everything from working as a milkman to dancing in vaudeville
and the early films that were shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
The turning point
came when Abe learned how to sell insurance. Soon he and Rae went their
separate ways, with Abe leaving the family to start a new life for himself
in Los Angeles, California. Rae was left to raise five young children
on her own with the meager earnings she made as a seamstress.
From a young age,
Lehman developed his artistic abilities. His first serious interest
in art was in sculpture. By the age of sixteen, he had learned plaster
casting in a professional studio that did enlargements of monumental
In February 1930,
Abe sent airplane tickets to Rae for her to send any two of their children
to Los Angeles. My dad, and his older brother Charlie took the opportunity
to join their father on the west coast.