Israel William “Bill” Silverman was born in Manhattan on Nov. 13, 1906 to Austrian immigrant parents. With an eighth-grade education, he became a radio and television repair technician and married Mildred Goldberg on Nov. 1, 1936. Briefly, they settled into an apartment in Sunnyside, enjoying the birth of their son, Fred, on Sept. 13, 1937.
They moved into a new apartment building in 1940 at 89-11 63 Drive in Rego Park, where they remained until their deaths. Fred did his thesis for his masters degree analyzing 10 years of ABC programming, which got him a job in television after graduation.
He worked for CBS and then moved over to ABC. At a time when there were only three networks, he raised ABC from No. 3 to No. 1. Some of his hit shows as an executive and producer include “All in the Family,” “Family,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Waltons,” to name a few. His specialty was in being the master of TV spin-offs, with new series based off his hit shows.
He married his assistant, Catherine Kihn, in 1971, and they had two children. They were married for almost 49 years until his death on Jan. 30, 2020 at age 82.