The Museum of Family History 
 Great Artists Series

 The Immortal
  Al Jolson  

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Jolson's Four Wives:

Erle Galbraith

24 Mar 1945 - 23 Oct 1950


  Jolson Home Movie
Al, Erle, Asa Jr. and baby Alicia
Encino, California
song: "In Our House"

Ruby Keeler was Al Jolson's third wife.....

Jolson toured extensively during World War II, entertaining the troops both abroad and in the United States, especially in Army hospitals. It was at one of these visits on tour, in Hot Springs Arkansas, that Jolson met his fourth wife Erle Galbraith.

According to brother Harry in his book "Mistah Jolson:"

"An appearance that Al made in an Army hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, heralded a great change in his life. A lovely girl, who was one of the x-ray technicians, asked for his autograph...

'Perhaps you think I'm crazy,' Al told me later. 'A man of sixty doesn't ordinarily fall for a girl of twenty -- or is it the other way around? I couldn't get that girl's face out of my mind....'"

While in Hollywood, Jolson became critically ill; this was not the first time. He had two ribs and part of a lung cut away. He was despondent and didn't know if he wanted to live. He then received a hospital visit from Erle Galbraith, and now he wanted to live more than anything. While he was recuperating in Palm Springs, he and Erle were married. Jolson was soon his old self again.

This marriage was Jolson's most successful. Erle would be content to stay at home and make her husband happy. They adopted two children, a boy Asa Jr. and a girl named Alicia. After the adoption of Asa Jr. , Jolson bought the house he had originally built for Ruby Keeler, and there they lived. They later adopted Alicia, who was diagnosed as being "mentally retarded," and she at some point required institutional care. She passed away in 1982. Asa Jr. (now known as Albert) is currently living in Nashville, Tennessee.










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This exhibition was made possible in part with the cooperation of the International Al Jolson Society.


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