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Max Raab

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Full Name  Max Louis Raab
Movies  Lion’s Love, Strut!
Role  Film producer

Name  Max Raab
Nationality  American
Siblings  Norman Raab
Max Raab static01nytcomimages20080226business26Raab
Born  June 9, 1926Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Occupation  Clothing businessman and film producer
Died  February 21, 2008, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Spouse  Merle Kass Levin (m. ?–2008)
Parents  Fanny Kessler Raab, Herman Raab
Similar People  John Alcott, Nicolas Roeg, Agnes Varda, Edward Bond, Stanley Kubrick

Max raabe oops i did it again

Max Louis Raab (June 9, 1926 Philadelphia – February 21, 2008 Philadelphia) was an American clothing businessman and film producer.


Raab was the originator of the popular Preppy look in American women's fashion during the 1950's. He was also responsible for bringing the film "A Clockwork Orange" to the screen.

Early life

Max Louis Raab was born to Herman and Fanny Kessler Raab on June 9, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother died when he was twelve. Raab grew up in the city's Tioga neighborhood, attending Rutgers Preparatory School and the Wooster Academy.

Raab was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and served in Germany. At the end of the war, he served in the allied occupation forces in Japan. After his military discharge, Max began his career in the apparel business at his father's blouse company, Morgan Raab.


In the late 1940's, Raab realized that women's fashions were changing. American women's fashion was being increasingly dominated by teenage girls and adults with upwardly mobile tastes. In contrast, Morgan Raab produced low quality, unstylish blouses. In response, Raab started manufacturing man-tailored button down shirts at Morgan Raab. The clothing line was a great success.

In 1958, Raab and his brother Norman started The Villager, a clothing line that would define preppy Ivy League fashion for decades. The popularity of his clothing led the New York Times to label him the "dean of the prep look. The Villager quickly grew to be one of the preeminent brands in American sportswear, only to diminish in popularity with the advent of the late 1960s counterculture and attendant styles in fashion. During this time, Raab also launched the Rooster Tie Company and became known for his unconventional use of unusual, non-traditional fabrics in ties.

In 1974, Raab founded the J.G. Hook clothing line. He had decided that it was ritme to revive the classic prep style of the 1950's. He also created a new necktie company, Tango, that again used unconventional materials for his ties.

In remarks about his two careers, Raab stated, "A film's director is a designer. Just as the film director works with a story; the designer, with a theme. The producer sits in on the editing and works with all of the elements of the finished project, as I do in both worlds."

In 1998, after growing J.G. Hook into a $100 million empire, Max sold the business.


In the 1960's, a filmmaker asked Raab if he would donate the wardrobe for his low-budget film (David and Lisa). Raab agreed with the stipulation that he could watch the filming of the movie. After three months of watching the creation of David and Lisa, Rabb decided to enter the movie business.

He purchased the film rights to John Barth's novel End of the Road. With the help of director Aram Avakian and writer Terry Southern, Raab adapted the novel into a film.

Rabb then purchased the film rights to Anthony Burgess' controversial novel A Clockwork Orange. However, when Rabb presented the concept to the major film studios, they all turned it down. In addition, Rabb had wanted members of the Beatles to be in the movie cast; they declined also. When director Stanley Kubrick showed interest in "A Clockwork Orange", Warner Brothers decided to produce the film, making Raab an executive producer.

Raab's next film was Walkabout, another critical success. Raab produced several other films, including Lion's Love with writer and director Agnes Varda.

At age 73, Raab made his directorial debut with the documentary film STRUT!. Having watched Philadelphia's annual New Year's Day Mummers parade since he was a child, Raab set out to capture the world of the Mummers. STRUT! featured music from turn-of-the-century ragtime and Dixieland hymns to Broadway show tunes and pop music hits. Raab also produced the film's soundtrack.

Raab then collaborated with filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. on the documentary film Rittenhouse Square. The movie was about a year in the life of Rittenhouse Square, one of the cphiladelphia's original park squares. It was an impressionistic and music filled film that showed the intersections of people's lives in this public space. "Max Raab is the most inspired producer I've ever worked with and the funniest. His music choices were always impeccable", says Downey.

In his last two years, Raab and Downey again began work on a musical documentary on the composer Kurt Weill and his singer/actress Lotte Lenya.. Raab died before the project was completed, but his wife and Downey were planning to finish it.

Other activities

Raab also owned theaters and restaurants, and started a small entertainment magazine . As a young man, he opened a car lot on North Broad Street. In his final year, Raab opened a small shop and website selling collectible model cars, sailboats, airplanes, tin toys and other items.

Raab also served as a mention to many young people in the clothing industry.

Raab's hobbies included sailing catboats and catamarans along the Jersey Shore and in the Caribbean.


After a ten-year struggle with Parkinson's disease, Max Raab died in Philadelphia in 2008.


Max Raab Wikipedia