1916 – 2009
Who was Sam Maloof?
Sam Maloof was a furniture designer and woodworker. He was born Samuel Solomon Maloof, a member of the large Maalouf family, in Chino, California, to Lebanese immigrants. He attended high school first at Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, where he took his first woodworking class and was recognized by his art teacher as having extraordinary skill. Later he attended Chino High School. Shortly after completing high school, he began working in the art department of the Vortox Manufacturing Company in Claremont, California. He was drafted into the United States Army on October 11, 1941. After serving in the Pacific theater and then transferring to a post in Alaska, Maloof left the army in 1945 to return to Southern California.
Maloof married Alfreda Louise Ward on June 27, 1948 and the couple moved into a house at 921 Plaza Serena, Ontario, California, where Sam set up a furniture workshop in the garage. Mostly from necessity, Maloof designed and built a suite of furniture for his home using salvaged materials. Commissioned pieces followed and, from 1949 to 1952, Maloof continued working in the garage of his Ontario home. In 1953, Maloof relocated to Alta Loma, California.