The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

February 27, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

David Sarnoff.

Not all the FECHA saints are saintly. Particularly not David Sarnoff, who lied, cheated and stole his way to a pre-eminent career in radio and television. Born in Minsk, Russia on Feb. 27, 1891, Sarnoff started off studying to be a Talmudic scholar. Once he'd emigrated to New York with his family, however, he quit scholarship to become a messenger boy for a telegraph company and learned Morse code. Then opportunity knocked, and he answered. He was manning a powerful radio station on the top floor of the Wannaker Dept. Store one storm night in Manhattan when he heard a distress signal from somewhere in the North Atlantic. It was a call from the sinking Titanic. He had something to do with relaying that call to other potential rescue ships, but he mythologized the event by amplifying that event into a tale of his own high heroism. He remained at his telegraph key for 72 hours, he said, receiving and passing on the news about the Titanic. He did nothing of the sort. But he was able to parlay his notoriety into a position of responsibility with his employer, the Marconi company, where he soon became high enough in the corporate hierarchy to push the world's first commercially marketed radio. In 1921, he demonstrated the potential of radio by broadcasting a boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier, and creating enough of a sensation to sell $80 million worth of radios for his company, which became the Radio Corporation of America, RCA, the parent of NBC. In 1928, he launched an experimental NBC television station, and gave a successful demonstration at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. Sarnoff went off to help fight World War II (as a communications consultant on the staff of Gen. Eisenhower). TV's development had to wait until the war was over, when General Sarnoff (he insisted on the title) came home, and pioneered the development of commercial television. (He found time, along the way, to steal FM radio from its inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong [double click here] and expropriate FM as the sound-way for TV.)

MODEL: But David Sarnoff is a role model, for those of us, at least, who will stop at nothing on our way up the ladder of success. Lie, cheat, steal. But don't expect a reward in the next life. You'll go to hell.

Your Birthday Today:

February 27

Day of the Reality Seeker

Captivating, Proficient, Worldly

Self-oblivious Exacting Chaotic

Perceptive. If you were born on February 27, you are extremely insightful into the world around you. Ruled by the number 9 and the planet Mars, you are forceful and have a strong effect on others.

Reaching further. You spend a great deal of time checking out daily life: how things work, how people act and how to mingle with your environment. With your feet planted firmly on the ground, you then check out international and universal realms as well. Because you take it one step at a time, you can handle ambitious and sometimes risky endeavors well. You enjoy pondering a wide variety of subjects and seek the company of other intellectually active types.

Love troubles. Your personal life is not so orderly. Because you are a demanding person and the people you choose are usually not right for you, your love life is chaotic. For all your understanding of the world, you really don't understand yourself and your true needs. Some February 27 people mature to understand these needs and create a more stable life. Others bounce from person to person thinking they can find the solution, never realizing the answer is within themselves.

Moral danger. Your insight, combined with your magnetic personality and self-centered drive can be dangerous. If you make the wrong ethical choices, you can bring great destruction on yourself and others.

Some Advice : Spend an extended period of time alone searching deep inside yourself and exploring your spiritual side. Be sensitive to the feelings and desires of others.

Also born on this day:
Elizabeth Taylor (actress) John Steinbeck (novelist) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (19th c. poet) Dexter Gordon (jazz saxophonist, actor) Ralph Nader (consumer advocate) Joanne Woodward (actress) James T. Farrell (novelist) Irwin Shaw (novelist, playwright David Sarnoff (president RCA) Hugo Black (Supreme Court justice) John B. Connally (Texas governor shot with JFK) Gene Sarazen (golfer) Arthur Schlesinger (historian)