Al Leff


Dar, SC


Al A. Leff (1912-1980) was born in New York to Russian immigrants Barnett (1872-1962) and Tillie Malina Leff (c.1880-1924). Around 1930, Al moved to South Carolina where he briefly took up work as a dry goods salesman in Sumter before moving north to Hartsville. While in Hartsville, Al made business connections with a successful store owner and by the end of the decade was operating a branch of the Hartsville retail store in Darlington. In 1939, he married a fellow store manager, Julia Gordon (1914-2015), and by 1950, both Al and Julia were listed in the census as self-employed and working in men’s and women’s retail respectively. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Al also became increasingly involved in the Darlington Lions Club and the wider business community. He joined Darlington’s Merchants Planning Committee in 1958 and the board of directors for the Darlington Chamber of Commerce in 1961. He passed away in 1980 at age sixty-seven.

Main Image: Obituary for Al Leff. Reprinted from The State, January 9, 1890.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

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