Born in Eastern Europe in 1882, company founder, Hyman Korman, traveled across Russia during his late teen years and early 20s with his uncles, who were successful railway builders. This is where he got his first exposure to homebuilding. To expedite the construction of the railway across Russia, Hyman's uncles came up with an innovative and successful solution – they provided temporary housing for their workers, essentially log cabins that were easily disassembled and reassembled as they progressed across the country.
Hyman emigrated to New York in 1904 at age 23. He immediately found work as a tailor in the garment industry. Two years later, he moved his family to Hamilton Farm near today's Oxford Circle in Philadelphia, where he rented and worked the land. To supplement the family income, Hyman and his wife, Yetta, took boarders. In 1914, road development opened traffic right through the farm. Foreseeing the expansion and development of Philadelphia in the Northeast along Roosevelt Boulevard, Hyman purchased Hamilton Farm in 1917, which became the first Korman land acquisition.
Today, Hyman is celebrated as being instrumental to the early development of Philadelphia. He took out loans from local banks and continued purchasing farmland in the area. In 1921 and in 1922, Hyman built his first Northeast twin homes. From 1924-1925, he built his first community development that included homes, apartment and stores. Between 1929 and 1934, the company built more than 500 homes. At that time, this was a very sizable percentage of the total homes built in all of Philadelphia. In 1933, after his youngest son, Sam, joined, Hyman incorporated the home building business into Hyman Korman, Inc.