SMORGON, Australian business dynasty. The Smorgon family, one of the most successful in contemporary Australia, lived in the Ukraine. Poor before the 1917 Revolution, they temporarily became prosperous during the NEP era under Lenin but immigrated to Melbourne, Australia, in 1926 as collectivization took hold. There GERSHON SMORGON, the head of the family, opened a kosher butcher shop in Carlton, Melbourne. By the start of World War II the family had developed a successful meat-exporting and food-canning business. They became major business leaders in the late 1940s, developing a rabbit-meat exporting business to the United States and also a large-scale paper manufacturing business, chosen by the family's new head VICTOR SMORGON (b. 1913) as being virtually recession-proof. By the 1960s Smorgon Consolidated Industries, the family's private holding company, had also become one of Australia's largest steel manufacturers and, later, large-scale   glass manufacturers. The family, located in Melbourne, is also noted for its philanthropy. Australia's Business Review Weekly, publishers of the country's annual "rich list," estimated the family's collective wealth at $150 million in 1983, $650 million in 1992, and $2.37 billion (about U.S. $1.8 billion) in 2004, making them the richest family ranked on the list. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Ostrow, The New Boy Network (1987), 157–61; W.D. Rubinstein, Jews in Australia II, index. (William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Smorgon — /ˈsmɔgən/ (say smawguhn) noun Victor, 1913–2009, Australian industrialist, born in Ukraine …   Australian English dictionary

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