Sumner M. Redstone is Chairman Emeritus of the CBS Corporation and Viacom. He served as Executive Chairman of CBS and Viacom until February 2016. He assumed his roles as Executive Chairman of both companies after the separation of Viacom into two publicly traded companies, which occurred in January 2006. Mr. Redstone is the controlling shareholder of both companies.
Prior to that, Mr. Redstone had served as Chairman of the Board of Viacom since June 1987 and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom since January 1996. He became Chairman of the Board of Viacom when National Amusements, Inc. acquired a controlling interest in the New York-based company. Mr. Redstone has been Chairman of the Board of National Amusements since 1986, and Chief Executive Officer of National Amusements since July 1967. He was President of National Amusements from July 1967 to December 1999. Viacom’s operations consist of MTV Networks, BET Networks and Paramount Pictures, and include such well-known global brands as MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, BET, Rock Band, AddictingGames, Atom, Neopets, and Shockwave.
Mr. Redstone has played a significant role in the affairs of the entertainment and communications industries. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation and is on the Board of Trustees for The Paley Center for Media. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Theatre Owners, and currently is a member of the Executive Committee of that organization. Before that, he was President of the Theatre Owners of America.
Mr. Redstone enjoys and takes pride in teaching college students, and has been a frequent lecturer at universities including Harvard Law School, Boston University Law School and Brandeis University. While serving as a Law Clerk in the Court of Appeals, Mr. Redstone taught at the University of San Francisco. In 1982, he joined the faculty of the Boston University Law School, where he created one of the nation’s first courses in entertainment law. In May 1994, Mr. Redstone received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Boston University. In 2006, Mr. Redstone also received an honorary degree from George Washington University.
Mr. Redstone devotes a large portion of his time and energy to civic and community affairs. In 2007, the Sumner M. Redstone Foundation announced charitable grants of more than $105 million to fund research and patient care advancements at FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions, the Cedars-Sinai Prostate Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and to the Cambodian Children’s Fund. He is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and currently serves as Honorary Chairman of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. He is a member of the Corporation of the Massachusetts General Hospital and is on the Board of Overseers of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. Mr. Redstone has served as the Chairman of the Jimmy Fund (Children’s Cancer Research Foundation), and was a member of the Corporation of the New England Medical Center. He is a former Chairman of the Metropolitan Division of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies.
During the Carter Administration, he was appointed a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee of the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and in 1984, was appointed a Director of the Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation. He also has served as a judge on the Foundation’s select committee to award the annual John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, each year since the Award’s inception in 1990.
Mr. Redstone began his career as Law Secretary with the U.S. Court of Appeals, and then served as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General. Subsequently, he was a partner with the law firm of Ford, Bergson, Adams, Borkland and Redstone in Washington, D.C. In 1954, he joined National Amusements, Inc., which he then organized into the successful company it is today. Based in Dedham, Mass., National Amusements is one of the largest motion picture circuits in the United States.
Mr. Redstone served in the Military Intelligence Division during World War II. While a student at Harvard, he was selected by Japanese history professor Edwin Reischauer (later Ambassador to Japan) to join a special intelligence group whose mission was to break Japan’s high-level military and diplomatic codes. In connection with these activities, Mr. Redstone received, among other honors, two commendations from the Military Intelligence Division in recognition of his service, contribution and devotion to duty. He is also a recipient of the Army Commendation Award.
Mr. Redstone’s education began at Boston Latin School, where he graduated first in his class. In 1944, after studying for two and one-half years at Harvard College, he was awarded a degree by Harvard University’s Special Board of Overseers. In 1947, Mr. Redstone received his LL.B. from the Harvard University School of Law.
Mr. Redstone’s autobiography, A Passion to Win, was published in 2001.