ADLER, MAX (1866–1952), U.S. merchant-executive, musician, and philanthropist, who provided the money for America's first planetarium. Born in Elgin, Illinois, Adler as a child revealed remarkable talent for the violin. After receiving instruction in Elgin and Chicago, he was sent in 1884 to study at the Royal Conservatory in Berlin. Upon his return to the United States in 1888, he joined Boston's Mendelssohn Quintet as violinist and manager. In 1897, in response to the invitation of his brother-in-law, julius rosenwald , president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, Adler left the concert platform to supervise the firm's music department. He rose rapidly to a vice presidency and membership on the board of directors. His enthusiasm for music never waned, and among his many philanthropic acts was the assistance he gave promising young musicians. His principal philanthropy was his gift to Chicago in 1930 of the Adler Planetarium and Astronomical Museum. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: P.D. Bregstone, Chicago and its Jews (1933); H.J. Smith, Chicago's Great Century, 1833–1933 (1933). (Morton Mayer Berman)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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