Klaus Landsberg (July 7, 1916 - September 16, 1956) was a pioneering electrical engineer who made history with early commercial telecasts and helped pave the way to today's television networks.
He appeared in many plays during his childhood. In his early teens he combined his technical skill and expressed desire to pursue his strong artistic inclination, setting out to prove that the two could be successfully blended.
In 1936 he was called upon to assist in the history-making telecast of the Berlin Olympic Games, an event that marked television's rounding of one of the proverbial corners.
In 1937 Klaus was appointed laboratory engineer and assistant to Dr. Korm, the Inventor of picture telegraphy. During this association, Landsberg himself created many new electronic devices. The most outstanding of these achievements was the invention of an electronic aid to navigation and blind landings, considered so vital to the Third Reich that upon being patented was declared a military-secret, which Landsberg was determined to destroy as a Nazi weapon (he was successful). This basic radar principle later became Landsberg's passport to America.
Following his arrival in the United States, Farnsworth Television, Inc. hired Klaus Landsberg as Television Development Engineer in Philadelphia in 1938.
In 1939 he went to New York for the National Broadcasting Company television division. It was during this period that Landsberg helped NBC make possible the first public Television demonstrations in America, at the New York World's Fair.
Allen B. DuMont recognized Landsberg's qualifications, and signed him as Television design and development engineer for the New York DuMont Laboratories, a pioneer United States Television organization. There he supervised technical operations of the television unit at the U.S. Army Maneuvers in Cantons, New York, developing automatic synchronizing circuits.
In 1939 he was contracted to build DuMont's station WABD, as well as produce the station's first shows.
In 1941 Klaus was sent by Paramount Pictures to Los Angeles to build W6XYZ, an experimental television station.
He experimented from 1942 to 1947, during which year he produced Paramount's Kinescope.
Also in 1947, KTLA (Channel 5), a Los Angeles Television station funded by Paramount and helmed by Klaus Landsberg, began regular commercial broadcasts (the first such KTLA commercial broadcast was January 22, 1947.)
By 1948, KTLA boasted a show lineup that included Spade Cooley, Ina Rae Hutton, The Continental Lover, Time for Beany, Korla Pandit's Adventures in Music and professional wrestling.
Landsberg died of cancer in 1956, aged only 40.