Who Was Walter Kaitz?

Sep 15, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Were it not for a bottle of vodka, there may never have been a Walter Kaitz Foundation. Legend has it that a family friend bribed a Russian prison guard to release young Walter and his relatives, who were political prisoners, from confinement just before the Bolshevik Revolution.
Walter Kaitz was born in Russia in 1915. When he was young he and his family escaped to America, where they settled in a rough South Boston neighborhood. Mr. Kaitz grew up there, tossing newspapers well enough to earn a scholarship to Harvard.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served seven years-one under Gen. George S. Patton. When he returned home too late in the season to enter Harvard Law School, he re-enlisted for a year.
Mr. Kaitz finished his law degree at University of California, Berkeley, and found a job as a legislative lobbyist for the state’s nascent cable industry. In 1960, when he began his cable career, California had fewer than two dozen cable systems serving about 40,000 subscribers.
Though he worked with many clients, Mr. Kaitz devoted the bulk of his time to cable interests, serving two decades as general counsel and executive secretary of the California Cable Television Association. He died in 1979.