Film pioneer Harry M. Warner had served as president of Warner Bros. studios for 30 years before stepping down in 1956.
He was among the first to recognize the potential of the infant film industry.
Warner was born on Dec. 12, 1881, in Poland, one of 11 children of Benjamin and Pearl Warner. His father emigrated to America and at the age of 6 Warner accompanied his mother to the United States.
He was educated in public schools in Baltimore until 1895, when the family moved to Youngstown, Ohio.
In 1903, he and three brothers, Sam, Jack L. and Albert began exhibiting films in Pennsylvania. Their early start made Warner Bros. a powerhouse of the early film business.
Before World War I, the brothers had moved their picture-making business to Santa Paula. In 1917 they produced their first widely-successful film, "My Four Years in Germany," based on a book written by James W. Gerard, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany.
The Warner Bros. studio was built on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Many years later, the studio was moved to its Burbank location.
In 1926, Sam and Harry Warner pioneered the use of sound with motion pictures in a firm known as Vidaphone, producing first "Lights of New York" and then the familiar "The Jazz Singer," starring Al Jolson, which is recognized as the first talking picture.
Sam Warner died in 1926, causing a reorganization of Warner Bros. Harry Warner became president, Jack Warner the head of production and Albert Warner oversaw distribution.
When television began cutting into the film business, Warner gradually retired from the film studio, dividing his time between Hollywood and New York.