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Marcia Israel-Curley (Marcia Israel-Curley)

Marcia Israel-Curley

Designer, Entrepeneur and Philantropist. Born Marcia Satz, she and her sisters and mother lost the family farm in Upstate New York during the Depression after her father abandoned the family. The women moved to New York’s Lower East Side, where they all worked to help pay the rent. After high school, she took a job as a model and bookkeeper for a New York dress manufacturer and after a few years, she moved to Los Angeles. In 1946, she opened her first Judy’s store in a 7-by-12-foot space in East Los Angeles and the following year, she married Lawrence Israel, an aeronautics engineer, who soon afterward got involved in the business.  By 1964, she was the head of a 14-store chain was named a Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year. Eventually, the number of stores grew to 104, becoming a major West Coast retailer. Israel-Curley was appointed as chairwoman of the Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business Ownership by President  Ronald Reagan which she led for six years and also served for seven years as an advisor on the board of directors of the Navy Exchange Service Command, a U.S. Navy retail operation. After she sold her business in 1989, she wrote a book about her adventures in retail: ‘Defying the Odds: Sharing the Lessons I Learned as a Pioneer Entrepreneur’ which was published in 2002. Israel-Curley, who was a founder of the Los Angeles Music Center and also funded several local theater groups, as well as treatment centers that bear her name at Cedars-Sinai, died after suffering a stroke. (bio by: Louis M.)


  • November, 17, 1920
  • USA


  • August, 08, 2004
  • USA


  • Westwood Memorial Park
  • California
  • USA

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