Sumner Redstone was a billionaire media tycoon and dealmaker who led Viacom for more than three decades. He died at the age of 97 on August 11, 2020.
“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," said ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish. "He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy. ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company."
Redstone was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1923. He graduated from Harvard University in 1944 and served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II. Redstone attended Georgetown Law School, graduating in 1947, before joining National Amusements, a movie theater chain. It was then that his career really took off.
Redstone later became CEO of National Amusements and was also the executive chairman of both CBS and Viacom. He oversaw major acquisitions, famously saying in interviews that patience is not a virtue. He is known for coining the phrase “Content is king!”
Redstone is survived by his daughter Shari Redstone, who is currently chairwoman of ViacomCBS.
"My father led an extraordinary life that not only shaped entertainment as we know it today, but created an incredible family legacy," she said in a statement. "Through it all, we shared a great love for one another and he was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I am so proud to be his daughter and I will miss him always.”