Mr. Tramiel founded Commodore Business Machines in 1955 as a typewriter service and sales company. Over the years, as office machines became more technologically advanced so did Commodore's products, advancing through electric typewriters, adding machines, desktop and handheld calculators, programmable calculators finally culminating in personal computers.
Commodore entered the home computer business at its inception, in 1977, with the PET computer. Following the slogan "Computers for the masses, not the classes", all of Commodore's computers were high-powered but low-priced.
The PET was followed, in 1980, by the VIC-20, the first microcomputer to sell more than one million units. The Commodore 64, introduced in 1982, remains the highest selling single computer model in history and launched the computer careers of much of the computer industry.
Jack was born in Lodz, Poland, and when WWII broke out, in 1939, his formal education ended then. Shortly after the Germans invaded Poland all Jews were put into ghettos. In Sept 1944 he, along with the survivors of the Lodz Ghetto, was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and then to slave labor camps. He was liberated by the U.S. Army in April, 1945.
Jack migrated to the United States shortly after he was liberated and joined the US Army. There he learned to repair typewriters – and became interested in the current technologies of the day.