American motion pictures have profoundly impacted our culture and international opinion. The industry, known ubiquitously as Hollywood, came to its own in the last century. Louis B. Mayer played a major role in its development. He wielded his influential scepter in the 1930s and 1940s as the don of dons, setting industry standards and giving us some of the greatest and most enduring films ever made. His story begins in the Ukraine, where he was born Lazar Meir on July 4, 1885. A year later the family arrived in Long Island, NY, but after six years moved to St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, where Mayer grew up. An outstanding student and baseball player, Mayer graduated from St. John High School in 1902. Two years later he married Margaret Shenberg, the somewhat plump, dark-eyed daughter of a Boston rabbi.