Jack Benny's father game him a violin when he was eight years old. Benny became an accomplished violinist. His trademark through his years of comedy, however, was a poorly played version of Love in Bloom. He also was known for his on-stage miserliness, precise timing of his lines, and for always being age 39. While on stage, he was the perennial tightwad; off stage he was a generous man who gave freely of his time. He began his career after leaving school following the ninth grade and making vaudeville appearances. His career continued for more than 60 years and included one of the nation's most listened-to radio programs and a successful television program. Retiring from television in 1965, he continued to perform in nightclubs and in programs to benefit charitable organizations.