Renowned Tailor and Holocaust Survivor Martin Greenfield Passes Away at 95

From Auschwitz to iconic tailor, a story of resilience.

by Zain ul Abedin
Renowned Tailor and Holocaust Survivor Martin Greenfield Passes Away at 95
© KR Productions/YouTube

Martin Greenfield, a master tailor whose skillful hands crafted suits for U.S. Presidents and Hollywood elites, has passed away at the age of 95 on March 20. Born Maximilian Grünfeld on August 9, 1928, in a part of Czechoslovakia that is now governed by Ukraine, Greenfield's journey from a Jewish family to an internationally recognized tailor reads like a script from a Hollywood movie.

His life took a harrowing turn in 1942 when, as a teenager, he and his family were sent to Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi concentration camp. The horrors he witnessed there would shape his future in ways unimaginable. Of his entire family, only he and his father emerged alive, although his father tragically died just before the camp's liberation by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945.

Greenfield once shared a poignant memory of meeting U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who visited the camp after its liberation, and how he felt Eisenhower had saved his life.

Greenfield's American Dream

In 1947, a young and impoverished Greenfield arrived in the United States, seeking a fresh start.

He adopted the name Martin Greenfield and eventually found work in a Brooklyn tailoring firm. His early experiences, marked by loss and survival, fueled his ambition to excel. Greenfield's relentless pursuit of perfection in tailoring led him to eventually own the firm, renaming it Martin Greenfield Clothiers.

Over the decades, Greenfield's reputation as a tailor of the highest caliber grew, attracting a clientele that included several U.S. Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Donald Trump, as well as luminaries like Colin Powell, Michael Bloomberg, and celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman.

His creations graced the sets of critically acclaimed productions like "Boardwalk Empire," "The Great Gatsby," and "The Wolf of Wall Street," earning him a legendary status in the fashion industry. Greenfield's personal narrative, a testament to resilience and the American dream, was compellingly chronicled in his autobiography, "Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents’ Tailor." His story is not only about survival but about thriving in the face of adversity, embodying the spirit of the nation he came to love.

Known for expressing his gratitude for the opportunities America provided him, Greenfield's legacy is woven into the fabric of the country's history. He leaves behind his wife, Arlene Greenfield, his sons, Jay and Tod Greenfield, and four grandchildren, who will carry forward the remarkable legacy of a man who not only dressed presidents but lived with the dignity and grace of a true gentleman.

Greenfield's life story, marked by its dramatic arcs of tragedy and triumph, remains an inspiring chapter in the annals of American success stories.