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Jack Valenti Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 5 September 1921Houston, Texas, USA
Date of Death 26 April 2007Washington, District of Columbia, USA  (complications of a stroke)
Birth NameJack Joseph Valenti
Nickname Boom-Boom

Mini Bio (1)

Texas born, Harvard educated, Jack Valenti has led several lives; a wartime bomber pilot, advertising agency founder, political consultant, White House Special Assistant, movie industry leader. In his current role as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, Valenti has presided over a worldwide sea change in the industry, which has radically changed the landscape of the American film and television industry here and abroad. It is Valenti's duty and challenge to lead the U.S. film and TV industry's confrontation with these global dangers and opportunities. Born in Houston, Texas, Valenti was the youngest (age 15) high school graduate in the city. He began work a a 16-year-old office boy with the Humble Oil Company (now Exxon). As a young pilot in the Army Air Corps in World War II, Lieutenant Valenti flew 51 combat missions as the pilot-commander of a B-25 attack bomber with the 12th Air Force in Italy. He was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with four clusters, the Distinguished Unit Citation with one cluster, the European Theater Ribbon with four battle stars. He has a B.A. from the University of Houston (doing all his undergraduate work at night, working during the day). He graduated from Harvard with an M.B.A. In 1952, he co-founded the advertising/political consulting agency of Weekley & Valenti. In 1955, he met the man who would have the largest impact on his life, the then Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, Lyndon Johnson. Valenti's agency was in charge of the press during the visit of President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Johnson to Texas. Valenti was in the motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Within hours of the murder of John F. Kennedy, Valenti was on Air Force One flying back to Washington, the first newly hired special assistant to the new President. On June 1, 1966, Valenti resigned his White House post to become only the third man in MPAA history to become its leader. Valenti has written four books, three non-fiction, The Bitter Taste Of Glory (World Publishing); A Very Human President (W. W. Norton Co.); Speak Up With Confidence (Wm. Morrow Co.); his newest book is a political novel, Protect Aand Defend (Doubleday, 1992). He has written numerous essays for the New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Reader's Digest, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, Cox newspapers and other publications. France awarded him its highly prized Legion d'Honneur, the French Legion of Honor. He has been awarded his own Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He and his wife, Mary Margaret Valenti, lived in Washington, though he spent half his time in Los Angeles. They had three children, Courtenay Valenti, John Valenti and Alexandra Valenti. He died from complications of a stroke in April 2007.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Motion Picture Association of America (with permission)

Spouse (1)

Mary Margaret Valenti (1 June 1962 - 26 April 2007) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (12)

Was the youngest high school graduate of Houston, Texas at age 15. Decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with fourclusters, the Distinguished Unit Citation with one cluster, the European Theater Ribbon with four battle stars. Only the third man in history to be the president of the MPAA.
Longtime president of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. So now, he is Dr. Jack Valenti. He was also a speaker at the graduation ceremony.
Often has discussions at schools. His most recent being at the Landon School for boys in Bethesda, Maryland.
On March 23, 2007, suffered a stroke and was hospitalized at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore.
Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Brother of Lorraine Valenti Dinerstein and brother-in-law of Ted Dinerstein, who is a real estate magnate.
He was a close friend of former Screen Actors Guild President Charlton Heston, and received the second annual Charlton Heston Award in February 2004.
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Executives Branch).
Was the guest speaker during the commencement program for the class of 2002 at his alma matter, the University of Houston.
In the iconic shot of Lyndon Johnson being sworn in (Nov. 22, 1963) on Air Force One (Dallas Love Field), Valenti is crouched in the left of the photo facing the camera.

Personal Quotes (9)

The movie is a reflector and not an innovator.
In Hollywood, you're a veteran if you've had a job of more than six weeks' tenure with one company.
I don't know any other business that tells you not to go in and buy their product. [on the rating of films]
[Of Oliver Stone's "JFK"] This was a package of unfathomable lies, packed together though with a cinema artist's great skill. It was a blending and a millage of real photographs and fictional scenes and merged together with such skill that you were unable to tell the difference.
I never fathomed James Joyce.
Getting Cary Grant to pick up the restaurant check was a miracle few had ever witnessed.
The professional does his job right every time, without regard for anything else.
If I hunker down, as LBJ used to say, like a jackass in a hailstorm and wait till the storm passes, it's going to be all right. If I look down on a day or two, I know on the third day I'm gonna start rising again.
[on the Viet Nam War] There's nothing more brutalizing than to order men into battle and then pick up the phone from the Pentagon and find out how many were lost that day. I once asked [President] Johnson 'how do you stand it?'. And he said it was like drinking carbolic acid every morning. When he couldn't sleep, he'd wander the White House with a flashlight, visiting the portrait of Woodrow Wilson who had been paralyzed by a stroke while in office. Or he would go the the Situation Room at 3 a.m. because there would always be people there with the latest news and body counts.

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