Farewell to Sumner Redstone, Media’s Larger-Than-Life King Lear

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    Mario RuizSumner Redstone—who, despite his repeated protests that he would live forever, died Tuesday at age 97—built his father’s small chain of drive-in movie theaters into an entertainment and media empire that, at its height, was an $80-billion colossus. It spanned CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc., including the broadcast television network, Paramount Studios, the MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime, BET, and Comedy Central cable networks, Simon & Schuster publishers, Blockbuster Video, and countless other corporate subsidiaries that Redstone controlled through his private holding company, National Amusements Inc.Born in the Jewish neighborhood of Boston’s West End as Sumner Murray Rothstein (a family surname that he persuaded his father Mickey to change in 1940 as he prepared to attend Harvard College), Redstone was a throwback to the larger-than-life and occasionally ruthless tycoons who founded Hollywood in the early 20th Century—striving and visionary immigrants such as Louis B. Mayor, Samuel Goldwyn, and Jack L. Warner.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

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