Eugene F. McDonald

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Eugene F. McDonald was born in Syracuse, New York back in 1886 to Frazier and Betty.  Earning his money while a schoolboy reading electric meters.  He quit school at the end of his sophomore year taking a factory job with the Franklin Automobile Company.  He moved to Chicago in 1904 where he worked as an automobile salesman.

In 1911, he was in partnership in Detroit selling used cars, by the end of 1912 he began a credit finance company for the purchase of new and used card.  He was the first to offer working people a payment plan for the purchase of an automobile.

When the United States entered World War I he enlisted in Naval Intelligence rising through the ranks becoming a lieutenant commander. In 1919, he served in the Naval Reserves unit 1939.  He died in 1958, he was 72.

What you may not know about Eugene is that he founded Zenith Radio in 1921, he also formed and was the first president of the National Association of Broadcasters.  He was a pioneer in the development of the short-wave radio.  He also coined the slogan “The quality goes in before the name goes on”.

NW Arkansas, come for a visit, stay for a lifetime.

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NW Arkansas the home of WalMart, JB Hunt Trucking and Tyson Foods.


Come for a visit stay for a lifetime.  



Comments (17)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James - I remember Zenith as the hand crafted radio and TV company.  They did not use circuit boards and made a point of it.  But, everything has its day!

Aug 29, 2021 03:51 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - I remember the Zenith name as well as their slogan and think of it whenever I see the word zenith used - typically in print but not so much in everyday conversation.  

Aug 29, 2021 04:40 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, James... now that is a blast from the past... the name Zenith and that slogan. I grew up with a Zenith in the house. I've probably dated myself horribly saying this.

Aug 29, 2021 05:06 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

No need to "date yourself" my Love... I'm right here Nina Hollander, Broker 😋.

Aug 29, 2021 05:08 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Bob "RealMan" Timm 🥰

Aug 29, 2021 08:03 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I knew the name was familiar to me James Dray but the first part of the bio through me off. I used to love the Zenith brand and they made a great stereo in the 60's called "The Circle Of Sound". That was my first stereo.

Aug 29, 2021 05:07 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Like Nina Hollander, Broker, grew up with the Zenith name in the house. Enjoy your day.


Aug 29, 2021 05:57 AM
Bill Salvatore - YVP Blog
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - Valley of the Sun /

Reminded me, our first color TV back in the late 60's was a Zenith

Aug 29, 2021 06:20 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

It sounds like he did quite a bit during his life.  I hope that you will have an enjoyable Sunday!

Aug 29, 2021 07:18 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Very cool. Another life well lived. We had a Zenith TV when I was growing up.

Aug 29, 2021 08:03 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Aug 29, 2021 08:52 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Like many of your commenters I remember Zenith, and I like this slogan,

“The quality goes in before the name goes on”.

Aug 29, 2021 09:17 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Like others I certainly remember Zenith and that slogan...but the rest was all news to me. 

Aug 29, 2021 10:19 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- what an interesting man and I too remember the Zenith name. I love the slogan he coined. 

Aug 29, 2021 10:48 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

I don't know why, but I think I have heard that slogan before James. And, I think my parents had a Zenith way back when...

Aug 29, 2021 12:29 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

James, did not see that one, thought he would be something big in the car industry.

Aug 29, 2021 12:56 PM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good afternoon James! I do remember that slogan from when I was just a kid.

Aug 29, 2021 01:20 PM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good evening James,

It would not surprise me if the ham radio makes a comeback in the near future!

Have an awesome evening.

Aug 29, 2021 03:44 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

James, yes I remember Zenith and the wonderful slogan: "The quality goes in first, before the name goes on" ... not many products can say the same today.....Endre

Aug 29, 2021 07:14 PM