Gertrude Berg, née Edelstein, was born to a Jewish American family in New York City. She spent much of her childhood at Fleischmanns, a village in the Catskills where her parents ran a resort hotel. She grew up writing and directing shows to entertain the hotel guests before trying her hand at writing and performing professionally. After graduating from Wadleigh High School, she took extension courses in playwrighting at Columbia University. It was while working in the Catskills that she met her future husband, Lewis Berg, whom she married in 1919; they had two children. She sold NBC Radio her series "The Goldbergs," about a fictional Jewish family living in a Bronx apartment, and wrote, produced, and starred in "The Goldbergs" for almost 30 years. It eventually transitioned to television, becoming one of the first TV sitcoms, and was adapted as a Broadway play. She won an Emmy in 1950 for her portrayal of Molly Goldberg. After the show's final season in 1955, she performed her Jewish matriarch role in other venues, including The Gertrude Berg Show on CBS. She won a Tony Award in 1959 for her portrayal of a widow named Mrs. Jacoby in the Broadway comedy A Majority of One. Her memoir, Molly and Me, written with her son Charney Berg, was published in 1961.