On Friday, Sumner M. Redstone, Executive Chairman of Viacom and CBS Corporation, was honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
From gathering military intelligence during WWII to creating one of the nation’s first courses in entertainment law to surviving a devastating hotel fire, Mr. Redstone, it seems, has seen and done it all. He built an empire out of his father’s drive-in movie business, serving as CEO of National Amusements since 1967. Under his leadership, Viacom has become one of the largest entertainment and media companies in the world, and Paramount — Hollywood’s oldest studio currently celebrating its 100th anniversary — closed 2011 as the number-one studio at the worldwide box office. Over the years, Mr. Redstone has also been very active in civic and community affairs.
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Leron Gubler opened the ceremony: “We are delighted today to honor one of the entertainment world’s most respected executives as he is honored with the 2,467th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.” Mr. Gubler also noted the presence of several former Walk of Fame honorees: producers Brian Grazer, Robert Evans and AC Lyles, all of whom have stars located within one block of Mr. Redstone’s.Philippe Dauman, Viacom President and CEO, took the stage to congratulate and honor his friend and colleague, calling him “the King of Content” and “an elemental force of nature.”
Mr. Dauman said, “Sumner shaped the modern media industry based entirely on his own brilliance and foresight. His energy and enthusiasm are legendary, as is his ability to motivate and inspire everyone around him.” Dauman added that, like Mr. Redstone, “the star will be here for a long, long, long time.”
Mr. Redstone then addressed the press, his guests and the throng of camera phone-wielding tourists craning their necks for a look at the media titan. “I want to thank everyone for the star, for the honor and I want to thank you for your presence,” he said. Surrounded by close to 100 of his closest family, friends and colleagues, Mr. Redstone smiled for the cameras as his star was unveiled in front of the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard.