Maurice Annenberg (1907-1979) was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. After the untimely death of his mother when Annenberg was a year old, his father moved the family to Baltimore, Maryland. When Annenberg was seven, his father was fatally injured by an automobile. Annenberg was then placed in the Betsy Levy Memorial Home (later the Baltimore Hebrew Orphanage), where he learned the fundamental elements of the printing trade from Sol Emanuel, a hand compositor at the [Baltimore] Sun. He became the foreman of the Sun's printing plant when he was eighteen, having by then completed his formal education. In 1928, he left the Sun to found Maran Printing Company, later founding Maran Plastics, Inc., to manufacture plastic credit cards. In 1929, he married Sophia Morris; the Annenbergs had two children, Barnet (born 1931) and Phyllis (born 1935).
Annenberg served in the National Guard for sixteen years (1929-1945); in 1929, he became a member of the 104th Medical Regiment of the Maryland National Guard. He then served in the U. S. Army Air Force during World War II. In 1942, he was stationed at Middletown Air Depot in Pennsylvania. Afterwards, he served as the executive officer of the Tobyhanna Service Unit Training Base in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. In 1946, he was discharged from the military and returned to Baltimore. During Annenberg's time in the military, Maran Printing Company had nearly collapsed, but he was able to revive it.
In 1933, Maran Printing Company began publishing Type Talk, an in-house periodical that was widely distributed in the printing and advertising fields. It featured notable persons in the advertising industry, new type styles, the history of type foundries and fonts, and local businesses. Type Talk was published bimonthly from 1933 until 1989, with a break from 1942 to 1946 while Annenberg was away in the war.
Annenberg was a self-taught scholar of printing history. In 1969, Annenberg published Advertising 3000 B. C. to 1900 A. D., which explores the history of both advertising and printing. After his retirement as president of Maran on January 1, 1973, he devoted more time to writing and research for Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues, which he privately published in 1975. The book surveys type founding in the United States from its origins in 1768 through 1945. Drawn from type catalogs in thirty-nine collections and libraries, the work also includes histories of active type foundries between 1796 and 1945 with a listing of catalogs for each. The printing of 500 copies quickly sold out and garnered much praise from the typography community.
In 1977, Annenberg published A Typographic Journey Through the "Inland Printer": 1883-1900. The Inland Printer was a monthly periodical about current trends in the printing industry and ideas for augmenting printing techniques. His book covers information on selected typography articles during the period 1883 to 1900, which Annenberg called "The Years of Transition."
Annenberg was also very active in professional associations. He was a charter member of the American Printing Historical Association and a member of the Typophiles, American Printing Society, National Association of Printers, Maryland Historical Society, Bibliographic Society of Canada, Baltimore Bibliophiles, and Typothetae of America, for which he was a board member. An active member of the American Printing History Association, he was given their annual award in 1979 for his Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues.
In addition to his professional activities, Annenberg was involved in numerous civic and charitable endeavors and belonged to several organizations, among them the North Charles General Hospital in Baltimore, for which he served as trustee; Boy's Town, for which he served as vice-president; and the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, for which he served as president. He was also a member of the Friends of the Johns Hopkins Libraries; the National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis, Inc.; the Safety Club; National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH); and on the advisory board to the Baltimore City Jails. Annenberg participated in the Coordinated Community Offender Employment Program (CCOEP), a work-release program aimed at reintegrating prisoners into society after incarceration. Through it, inmates from the Baltimore City Jails were employed by his printing company.
On April 20, 1979, Maurice Annenberg died after a long illness. Active even through illness, he had been working on a book about Henry L. Bullen, the librarian for American Type Founders Company, which he never completed. Annenberg wrote to friends in 1978 that he was going to print a revised version of Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues, but he was unable to do so before his death. A revised edition was published, with the permission of Sophia Annenberg, in 1994 that included an additional type foundry, new specimen books, an introduction by Stephen Saxe, and an index by Elizabeth K. Lieberman.