Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky on February 14, 1894, in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in neighboring Waukeegan, Illinois. He was the son of Meyer Kubelsky and Emma Sachs Kubelsky. Meyer was a Jewish saloon owner, later to become a haberdasher, who had emigrated to America from Poland. Emma had emigrated from Lithuania. Jack Benny was an American comedian, vaudevillian, and actor for radio, television and film. Widely recognized as one of the leading American entertainers of the 20th century, Benny played the role of the comic penny-pinching miser, insisting on remaining 39 years old on stage despite his actual age, and often playing the violin badly.