Irv Leopold (b. 1926)

Irv Leopold was born on April 3, 1926 in Portland, Oregon to Sam and Pearl Nudelman Leopold, who arrived in the United States as children from Russia and Germany. His mother was a part of the large Nudelman family that came to the US to start an agrarian community in North Dakota. Many of those relatives remained in North Dakota when Irv’s mother’s family came to Portland.

Although Irv started school in the Irvington neighborhood, his family moved to an apartment in South Portland when he was a child and he finished school at Shattuck Grade School and Lincoln High School. He worked as a newsboy during those years. 

Irv’s maternal grandfather was one of the founders of Congregation Neveh Zedek and the family attended Neveh Shalom after the merger with Ahavai Sholom.

After service in the US Army during the Second World War, Irv came back to Portland and began studies in advertising. He graduated from Lewis and Clark University. He worked at many trades after college and ended up creating a car detailing company before opening dealerships selling first used and then new cars.

Irv married Rhoda Rodinsky, a girl from the South Portland neighborhood, and they had two children, Michael and Heidi.

Interview(s):