Aug 11, 2020
"Life should not be a passive exercise... If we disregard its opportunities, then we have denied not only ourselves but all those who could have been touched by our efforts.”
Sumner Redstone, Chairman Emeritus of ViacomCBS, and Chairman and CEO of National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of ViacomCBS, died at his residence in Los Angeles, Calif. He was 97.
The Boston native, Army veteran, and Harvard Law School graduate joined his father’s drive-in movie theater company, National Amusements, in 1957, where he began his lifelong career in the entertainment industry, serving as CEO since 1967. Redstone helped build the drive-in theater company into one of the world's largest movie theater chains. Building off his start in the theater business, he became a prominent force in entertainment, contributing to TV, film, radio, distribution, and advertising—ultimately becoming a self-made billionaire. He famously coined the phrase “Content is King."
He turned his commitment to the future of content into investments in Twentieth Century Fox and Columbia Pictures, which he sold in the early 1980s.
In 1987, National Amusements, Inc. acquired Viacom. At the time, Redstone said he viewed the company as being at the center of “a vast technological and global revolution that would change the habits of people all over the world.”
“Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theater company into a global media portfolio. He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy,” said ViacomCBS CEO and President Bob Bakish. “ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Redstone family today."