Ben Ford Abrams, a former vaudevillian who later formed one of the nation’s largest theatrical agencies during the 1930s and 1940s, died July 18 at a hospital in Boston. He was 88.
In 1932 he teamed with his brother, Jack Ford, forming a tap dance and acrobatic act. They toured the vaudeville circuit as Ben Ford and His Two Little Fords.
The following year, they formed the Ford Theatrical Agency in Boston. It later became one of the country’s largest theatrical agencies, and booked numerous entertainers, including Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr. and Buddy Hackett.
Following World War II, the brothers purchased two nightclubs in Boston — the old Rio Casino and the Tic Toc Club. From 1946 until 1957, they operated the concession and ran bands and charter parties for the old Wilson Line Excursion Steamers out of Rowes Wharf in Boston.
In 1957, Massachusetts Gov. Foster Furcolo appointed Abrams an investigator with the Licensing Board & Entertainment Division of the Dept. of Public Safety.
A resident of Revere, Mass., for the last 30 years, Abrams also worked as a real estate developer and a construction supervisor in Revere.
He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.