EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 2, 2013

Author to speak on Jewish origins of Superman

HAVERHILL — Growing up, Larry Tye sat in awe watching George Reeves on TV as Superman fly through the air, helping those in need and beating up bullies.

Tye’s fascination grew stronger after writing “The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations,” one of the first and most successful public relations specialists. Tye’s book, ”Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero” was published last June by Random House. One interesting fact Tye found during his research for the book was that Superman is Jewish.

Tye will speak on, “Superman: Who Knew He Was Jewish” tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 514 Main St.

Tye, 57, a Haverhill native, said Superman is Jewish not just because the super hero was created by Jerry Seigel, the son of Jewish immigrants and budding artist Joe Shuster.

Superman’s home planet, Krypton was going to be destroyed, so his parents brought him to Earth to save him leaving him with a couple in Kansas.

“If that’s not the story of Moses, then I don’t know what is,” he said. Another indication that he is Jewish comes from his given name Kel-Al which in Hebrew translates to “Vessel of God.”

“I don’t think it was accidental that he was named Vessel of God.” He changed it to Superman, which Tye said any name ending in “Man” is Jewish.

During his research Tye discovered that Seigel said he wrote about what he knew and many of his experiences growing up can be found on the pages of the comics. Siegel’s father was a tailor who was held up at his store. In the first issue of Superman, the hero rescues a middle age man after being held up by a robber.

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