Isaac Meyer Goldberg (1887-1922) immigrated from Kalyazin, Russia in 1910, the first of his family to arrive. His wife, Rebecca (1887-1955) and two oldest sons, Abraham (1908-1988) and Jack (b. 1910), arrived the following year. I.M.’s brother, Jacob “Big Jake” Goldberg, arrived a few years later. In 1920, I.M. and Jake formed I.M. Goldberg and Brother at 489 King Street. After I.M. died in 1926, Big Jake took over management of the store. That year, I.M.’s eldest son, Abraham, was a sophomore at College of Charleston studying medicine, but he left school after his father’s death to work at the store, primarily to support his mother and six siblings. In 1931, the partnership between Jake and Abraham ended, with Abraham maintaining sole ownership of I.M. Goldberg and Brother. In 1939, the store moved to 526 King Street. It closed in 1960 due to Abraham’s failing health, although he subsequently lived another 26 years.
“After my grandfather died in 1926, my father had to drop out of the College of Charleston. He was a sophomore, hopefully on his way to becoming a physician. His dream was to be a physician. But he had to drop out to take care of his mother and his six siblings. It wasn’t something he did reluctantly, it was his duty. But he had to give up his dream.
Exactly 30 years to the exact day, a letter came to the house, informing me that I had been excepted to medical school, and when my father read that letter, he cried. I think it was one of the happiest days of his life. The only other time I ever saw him cry was when I became a distinguished professor of medicine at UCLA. I always wondered if in the back of his mind, I was living his dream.”
-Len Goldberg, son of Abraham Goldberg