1884: Film producer Louis B. Mayer, generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in its golden years, is born Lazar Meir in Minsk, Russian Empire. Mayer, seen here with Joan Crawford in 1953, was the first person in American history to earn a million-dollar salary and was the highest-paid man in the United States for the nine years from 1937.
Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library
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