Born in Glasgow to Russian Polish immigrants, Wolfson went from humble beginnings to achieve incredible success as a businessman and was a noted philanthropist. He worked his way up the ranks of the mail order company, Universal Stores, becoming Chairman in 1946. By the 1950s he had turned the company into an extremely profitable business - the largest mail-order company outside the US, with an estimated quarter of the British population amongst his client-base. Due to his Orthodox Jewish upbringing, Wolfson was also a prolific philanthropist, and through the Wolfson Foundation gave out some £130 million before his death. He became Chairman of the United Synagogue in London in 1962, and as a committed Zionist his charity has also extended to Israel. He became a baronet in 1962.