Holocaust survivor and celebrity tailor Martin Greenfield dies at 95

 March 27, 2024

Last week, Martin Greenfield, a celebrity tailor who survived the Holocaust, passed away at the age of 95, according to Fox News.

"Holocaust survivor, American icon, beloved by his congregational family, his abiding faith was a source of inspiration and blessing," an online obituary from Hampton Synagogue rabbis published by the New York Times reads.

"To his dear wife Arlene, children, Jay and Tod and to the entire family, our heartfelt sympathy."

Learning His Craft

Greenfield reportedly learned to embroider during his time as an Auschwitz prisoner, as reported by the New York Jewish Week.

After ripping the shirt of a Nazi soldier, he received sewing instruction from another prisoner. After mending the discarded shirt, he subsequently began to wear it.

"The day I first wore that shirt was the day I learned clothes possess power," Greenfield wrote in his 2014 memoir, "The Measure of a Man," as quoted by New York Jewish Week.

"Clothes don’t just ‘make the man,’ they can save the man. They did for me."

His Start in the United States

His occupation as a floor boy at the GGG clothing factory commenced in 1947, when he immigrated to the United States, according to the website of Martin Greenfield Clothiers.

"Martin went to night school to learn English, got his citizenship, and worked at the factory for 30 years, becoming the production manager," the company's website states.

"In 1977 after his employer decided to shut down the factory Martin purchased it and established Martin Greenfield Clothiers, producing clothing for businessmen and grooms, as well as presidents and celebrities."

Famous Customers

Frank Sinatra, former Presidents Obama and Trump, and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal were a few of the most prominent individuals Greenfield ported in suits.

In addition to dressing U.S. presidents, Greenfield's suits appeared in films and television programs, including "The Great Gatsby" and "Wolf of Wall Street," both of which featured Leonardo DiCaprio, and "Joker," in which the film's protagonist, Joaquin Phoenix, wore one of his suits.

According to an Instagram post by his sons Jay, Tod, and David, Greenfield passed away on March 20.

In the post, the son said that his father "survived the atrocities of the Holocaust with his humanity intact, living his life delighted to meet everyone he encountered with his infectious smile."

Greenfield's Family

The Daily Mail reports that Maximilian Grünfeld was Greenfield's given name at birth. On August 9, 1928, he was born in the region that is presently western Ukraine, formerly a part of Czechoslovakia. According to the British publication, the Holocaust claimed the lives of his father, mother, and two sisters.

Two out of his three sons are expected to assume leadership of his business, as reported by the Daily Mail.

According to the Hampton Synagogue's website, Rabbi Marc Schneier paid tribute to Greenfield during Saturday morning services.

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