Sumner Redstone, a legend in the media, died at 97.


Sumner Redstone, the media legend who constructed what’s now ViacomCBS, died Tuesday at age 97, the corporate confirmed in a press release Wednesday.

“Sumner was a real business titan, a superb and pushed pioneer whose affect on the media and leisure panorama can’t be overstated,” stated a press release from ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish.

ViacomCBS Chair Shari Redstone stated in a press release, “My father led a unprecedented life that not solely formed leisure as we all know it right this moment, however created an unimaginable household legacy. By all of it, we shared an awesome love for each other and he was an exquisite father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I’m so proud to be his daughter and I’ll miss him all the time.”

Redstone was born in 1923 and over a number of many years constructed a media empire.

He acquired his begin in media in 1954 when he joined his household’s small enterprise working a number of drive-in film theaters. Over the following few many years, he turned the enterprise into one of many nation’s largest movie-theater chains, Nationwide Amusements.

From there, he stored constructing. In 1987, he engineered the acquisition of Viacom. In 1994, he spent $10 billion for Paramount.

Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone

Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone in screening room at Nationwide Amusements.

John Blanding/The Boston Globe through Getty Photos

“Sumner astutely anticipated the methods through which the media business would evolve, formed by technological innovation and altering client tastes, and acknowledged the large potential of each Viacom and CBS,” stated the notice from Bakish.

At present, ViacomCBS owns a variety of media manufacturers in TV, cable, movie and publishing: the CBS Tv Community, CBS Information and 15 CBS-owned TV stations; cable channels together with BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Showtime; Paramount Footage; and the writer Simon & Schuster.

“Over the course of his distinguished life and profession, Sumner performed a crucial function in shaping the panorama of the fashionable media and leisure business,” Nationwide Amusements stated in a press release. “Sumner was a person of unequalled ardour and perseverance, who devoted his life to his perception within the energy of content material. Along with his passing, the media business he beloved so dearly loses one in all its nice champions.”

“In 1987, once I bought Viacom, it was a struggling cable tv programming enterprise with a number of undeveloped and neglected property that everybody inspired me to promote,” Redstone stated in a speech at Boston College in 2007. “, they stated that MTV was a fad. They stated that Nickelodeon may by no means make it as a result of who was desirous about a youngsters’ channel … in your life, within the ultimate evaluation, it’s a must to comply with your individual instincts.”

Redstone’s web price is $three billion, in accordance with Forbes.

Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, 66, serves as chair of ViacomCBS’ board of administrators after final 12 months’s merger between Viacom and CBS, which had beforehand merged in 1999 however broke aside in 2005.

Redstone had been in ailing well being for years, and his well being and competency had been the main focus of court docket battles.

In 2019, he settled a sequence of lawsuits with a former girlfriend, in accordance with the Related Press. Sumner stated within the lawsuits that he had given her tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} of their time collectively, in addition to management of his well being choices. The authorized battle had largely centered on whether or not Redstone was capable of testify and make choices for himself, the AP stated.

However Redstone was additionally famously brash and resilient. In 1979, he was badly burned in a hearth on the Copley Plaza Resort in Boston. Redstone later recounted being “enveloped in flames” earlier than making it to the third-floor window, which he frolicked of earlier than being rescued by the hearth division. He suffered third-degree burns on almost half of his physique.

“Essentially the most thrilling issues which have occurred to me in my skilled life have occurred after the hearth,” he would later say in his 2001 e-book, “A Ardour to Win.” “However not due to it. Life begins everytime you need it to start.”

In 2014, at age 90, when requested by the Hollywood Reporter if he had any regrets in life, he replied, “I remorse that I will not reside perpetually. Though I would wish to.”

Requested who his most trusted particular person was, he answered: “I belief in many individuals, however the one I belief essentially the most is myself.”