1880s-1990s: San Francisco

Jesse Lasky was born in San Francisco, California, on September 13, 1880, the son of shoe-store proprietor Isaac Lasky and his wife Sarah. Growing up in San Jose, he learned to play the cornet and imagined he would be discovered by John Philip Sousa.

[Above]: Jesse and sister Blanche, and [right] the Isaac Lasky family, circa 1888: Sarah, “Ike,” Jesse, and Blanche.

[ABOVE] Teenage Jesse Lasky (standing, sixth from left) in the San Jose Juvenile Band, circa 1895.


[RIGHT] Jesse and his cousin, Jack Morris, circa 1895.

[ABOVE] Lasky (seated, far right) in Frank Witherall’s San Jose Marine Band, circa 1897.

[ABOVE] Lasky at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, 1899 (front row, third from left), with his cornet.
At the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, 1899. Lasky (far right) is seated next to fellow musician Cad Graham.