This excerpt comes from the beginning of Sol L. Garfield's autobiography, written for the American Psychological Association.
My parents were both immigrants from Russian-Poland. They had met and married in Brooklyn, New York and had moved to Chicago a short time before my birth. They had migrated to the United States along with many other Jews from eastern Europe to escape the pogroms, discrimination, and general lack of opportunity existing in their native communities. To them, America was a land of opportunity for them and for their children.
My parents both had relatively little formal education. From the accounts I can recall and from the fact that both of them emigrated alone before the age of 20, their formal education was the equivalent of our eighth grade. Then, as now, in Russia educational opportunities for Jewish students were limited. However, my parents placed a great value on education, and this attitude was one that I developed also.
My father had learned to be a plumber and worked at this trade when he first came to the United States. However, he became a grocer early on and my earliest memories are of our grocery store and of our apartment in the same building. My father was a grocer in one store or another until I was 22 years old and within two years of my Ph.D. Our family was a closely knit one and both my sister, two years younger than I, and I, as well as my mother helped out in the family store as needed.
This family photo probably dates from 1928