TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 628
Meyer Leon Prensky was born in Kovno, Lithuania in July, 1886. His parents brought him to the United States as a child and the family settled in St. Louis, Missouri. On September 16, 1923, Meyer L. Prensky officially changed his last name to Prentis.
Prentis' first job was as an accountant at Laclede Gas Light Company in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1911 he moved to Detroit and joined General Motors as an accountant. He was later promoted to the positions of Auditor (n.d.), Comptroller (1916) and Treasurer (1919), holding the latter position for thirty-two years. He became Director of General Motors of Canada in 1922. In 1929, he was named regent of General Motors Institute and became the director of General Motors Acceptance Corporation in 1949. Prentis retired from General Motors on August 21, 1951.
Prior to his retirement, Prentis became active in Detroit community activities, both in the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. In 1928 he was named chairman of the steering committee of the Palestine Emergency Fund. In 1930 he was named chairman of the steering committee of the Allied Jewish Campaign. In 1934 he became honorary vice chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. In 1946 he headed a businessman's advisory committee that was instrumental in the establishment of Wayne State's School of Business Administration.
Prentis remained active in community activities after his retirement. His service to the community was recognized in 1965 when the new University Hall on the campus of Wayne State University was renamed in honor of Meyer and Anna Prentis.
Meyer Prentis married Anna S. Steinberg on June 23, 1914. They had four daughters. Meyer Leon Prentis died in Detroit, Michigan on July 15, 1970.
The Meyer L. Prentis Papers describe the life of Meyer L. Prentis as businessman and philanthropist. This colleciton includes correspondence and articles concerning Prentis' association with General Motors, articles and correspondence pertaining to his involvement in Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, along with family charts describing seven generations of the Prensky/Prentis family.
The papers were arranged and the genealogical materials were compiled by Betty Provizer Starkman of Birmingham, Alabama.
This collection is arranged in three (3) series:
Terms of Access and Use
The Meyer L. Prentis Papers are open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the Barrows-Loebelson Reading Room of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.
Property and Literary Rights
Lester Morris, by the act of donating the Meyer L. Prentis Papers to the American Jewish Archives, assigned all property rights to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights are retained by the Meyer Leon Prentis heirs. Literary rights may also be retained by specific creators of materials.
Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Meyer L. Prentis Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-628. Meyer L. Prentis Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Meyer L. Prentis Papers were received from Mr. Lester Morris, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 1990.
Processed by Joseph Greer and Tammy Topper, July, 1998.
No further accruals are expected to this collection.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.
Persons and Families
Prentis family -- of Detroit, Michigan
Prentis, Meyer Leon -- 1886-1970 -- Manuscripts
Pretsky family -- of Detroit, Michigan
General Motors Corporation
Jews -- Michigan -- Detroit