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Eulogies:Lew Wasserman

Last of the Great Movie Moguls, Dies at 89


Lew Wasserman, philanthropist, former chairman and chief executive of Music Corporation of America (MCA) and one of the last old-time movie moguls, died June 3 from complications of a stroke. He was 89. Wasserman was born March 22, 1913, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Russian immigrant parents, Isaac and Minnie, proprietors of a struggling restaurant. In 1936, the same year that Carl Laemmle lost control of Universal Studios, a 22-year-old Wasserman, with only a high school education, began at the bottom at MCA's Cleveland office, a talent agency with a celebrity roster that included Benny Goodman and Frank Sinatra. Wasserman worked his way up the corporate ladder and, a decade later, on Dec. 16, 1946, became MCA's president.

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