A Profile of the “Hit Maker”: Recording the Life of Berliner, Shanghailander, and Philadelphian Gunter Hauer

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2018

Journal Title

Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies






This article chronicles the life of retired Atlantic Records executive, Gunter Hauer. Hauer fled with his family from Nazi persecution in Berlin, Germany to Shanghai, China. There Gunter found haven with approximately 18,000 to 20,000 Jewish refugees. In 1943 he was forced by the occupying Japanese to live in a restricted zone known as the Designated Area until the end of the war. He married in Shanghai and moved with his wife to the United States. Here, he lived the proverbial “rags to riches” story as he went from being a phonograph record shipper at King Records to a distributor at Gotham Records and eventually an executive at Atlantic Records. With a can-do attitude, a gregarious demeanor, and a knack for calling the hits, Gunter put his mark on the recording industry of the Mid-Atlantic Region and beyond. He is now a sixty-year resident of Philadelphia entering his centennial year.