Skip to main content

Shapp, Milton Jerrold


SHAPP, MILTON JERROLD (Shapiro ; 1912–1994), U.S. industrialist and governor of Pennsylvania. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Shapp moved to Philadelphia in 1935 and worked in the sale of electronic products. To avoid antisemitic sentiment, he changed his name from Shapiro to Shapp but continued to practice Judaism openly. In 1946 he founded Jerrold Electronics Corporation, which pioneered in the development of cable television access. It became a major force in the television industry, making Shapp a multimillionaire. An equal opportunity employer, Shapp hired African-Americans, Hispanics, and other minority groups; and he was one of the first executives to promote women to top management positions. In 1963 the Pennsylvania afl-cio named him Man of the Year, the first time a business executive was selected for that honor. In 1967 he sold his interest in the company to the General Instrument Company so that he could concentrate on politics.

In 1960, at the request of President-elect Kennedy, Shapp served as chairman of the New Growth-New Jobs conference in Philadelphia and submitted a report suggesting programs for improving job opportunities in Philadelphia. During the Kennedy administration, he served as consultant to the Peace Corps and to the U.S. Department of Commerce on Area Development problems, and was vice chairman of the National Public Advisory Committee on Area Development. Shapp first ran for the Pennsylvania governorship in 1966 but was defeated.

In 1968 he served as chairman of the Committee for Pennsylvania State Constitutional Revision. In that year he backed Eugene Mc-Carthy for president, losing the support of some labor leaders who had backed him in 1966. As a liberal, and an opponent of the Vietnam War, Shapp had the endorsement of Americans for Democratic Action and of the New Democratic Coalition. He supported state legislation attempting to prevent the sending of Pennsylvania citizens into undeclared wars. Shapp also supported abortion reform. He was elected governor of Pennsylvania in 1970 by a wide margin, becoming the first Jew to hold that office. In 1974 he won a second term by a large margin as well, serving until 1979. He was the first Pennsylvania governor to succeed himself in the 20th century. As governor, he established the Pennsylvania State Lottery, administered by the Department of Aging which his administration created. The lottery was just one of Shapp's successful attempts to restore the state to stable financial footing.

In 1976 he ran for the Democratic nomination for president but did not make it into the primaries.

Shapp served Jewish organizations in many capacities, especially the American Jewish Congress; the Allied Jewish Appeal of Philadelphia; and the Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia.

He wrote My Impressions … Israel at Age 25 (1973).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shapp, Milton Jerrold." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 15 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Shapp, Milton Jerrold." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (September 15, 2019).

"Shapp, Milton Jerrold." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved September 15, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.