Sumner Murray Rothstein was born on the 27th May 1923 in Boston, Massachusetts USA, and as Sumner Redstone is widely known as a businessman and media magnate who, until February 2016, served as the chairman of CBS Corporation, Viacom and National Amusements Inc.
Have you ever wondered how much wealth this 93 year-old business veteran has accumulated so far? How rich Sumner Redstone is? According to sources, it is estimated that the total size of Sumner Redstone’s wealth, as of mid-2016, is $5.3 billion and includes the majority of shares in the CBS Corporation, Viacom Media Networks, Paramount Studio, BET Networks and MTV. Among the other assets in Sumner Redstone’s possession, there is also a Beverly Hills’ villa which he purchased for $14.5 million in 2002.
Sumner Redstone Net Worth $5.3 Billion
Sumner Redstone was born to Belle and Michael Rothstein, and is of Jewish descent. In 1940, Sumner’s father changed the family surname to Redstone, which is the literal translation of the German Rothstein. After matriculating as the first in class from Boston Latin School, Sumner in 1944 graduated from Harvard College. During WWII, Sumner served in the US Army, and as a First Lieutenant served in the team which decoded Japanese messages. After the war, he continued his education at Georgetown University Law Center, and later obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1947.
Sumner began his professional career as a special assistant to US Attorney General Tom C. Clark. Subsequently, Sumner moved to the United States Department of Justice Tax Division, before joining his father’s business in 1954. Michael Redstone at that time was the owner of the Northeast Theater Corporation, which later rebranded as the National Amusement Inc. In 1967, Sumner Redstone became the company’s CEO. It is certain that, throughout the years, Sumner’s guidance has brought millions in profits to the company as well as to himself.
With Sumner in the company’s driving seat, the business started to expand rapidly during the 1970s. The National Amusements started building, revolutionary at that time, multi-screen theaters called “twin theaters”, which later grew to “multiplex” and “megaplex” cinemas. Sumner Redstone’s vision and philosophy focused on contents – it must remain constant as the “content is king”, and he soon started to invest in other cinema businesses and chains which later brought him millions in profit.
In 1987, Sumner Redstone orchestrated a rather hostile takeover of Viacom International. Already possessing MTV Networks, under Sumner Redstone in the chairman’s position, in the course of the next several years, Viacom International also acquired Columbia Pictures, Orion Pictures and Paramount Pictures as well as the Twentieth Century Fox. It is doubtless that all these investments have paid off, and dramatically increased Sumner Redstone’s already humongous fortune.
After the 2005 Viacom International divided into Viacom and CBS Corporation, Sumner Redstone served as the chairman of the both companies. However, due to his age he was forced to resign from these positions in the early stages of 2016. Sumner Redstone currently owns more than 70% of Viacom’s and CBS’ shares, and he also controls 80% of shares of National Amusement Inc, while the remaining 20% are owned by his daughter.
Apart from his business career, Sumner Redstone has also made some efforts in sharing his knowledge and experience. Throughout the years, he has lectured at Harvard Law School, Brandies and Boston University’s Law Schools. He has also been rewarded with honorary degrees from George Washington University as well as Boston University’s honorary Doctor of Laws title.
When it comes to his personal life, Sumner Redstone has been married twice. In 1947, he married Phyllis Gloria Raphael with whom he has a son and a daughter. However, the couple split in 1999. Between 2002 and 2009, he was married to Paula Fortunato.
Sumner Redstone has been active in various charity causes, and through his foundation he has donated more than $150 million to several philanthropic causes including cancer and autism research, Global Poverty Project, Cambodian Children’s Fund and many others.
Apart from all those already mentioned, Sumner Redstone published his autobiography in 2001, “A Passion To Win” and also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on March 30, 2012.
Viacom, the media conglomerate that Sumner built, considered separating into two companies to revive its sagging stock price. [March 2005]
Endorsed US President George W. Bush for re-election in 2004, saying that "the reason was simple: Republican values are what U.S. companies need. I look at the election from what's good for Viacom. I vote for what's good for Viacom. I vote, today, Viacom." Viacon owns - among many other media outlets - CBS Television, which is claimed by conservatives, who accuse it of being part of "the liberal media", to slant its news coverage in favor of the Democratic party.
On August 22, 2006, in his capacity as Viacom chairman, he announced through the "Wall Street Journal" that Viacom's Paramount subsidiary was terminating its development dealt with Tom Cruise after 14 years. Redstone said the firm terminated its deal with Cruise due to the underperformance of Mission: Impossible III (2006) (which had been expected to gross $100-$150 million more than it did), which he attributed to Cruise's "bad behavior". Movie pundits were somewhat surprised by the announcement, as Cruise remains the top B.O. draw in North America and was Paramount's cash cow. Cruise's films reportedly have accounted for 32% of Paramount Pictures' revenues in the last six years, and he was named the Top Box Office draw for a record seventh time by Quigley Publications for the year 2005. As part of its machinations before severing its connections with Cruise, Paramount leaked to the press the information that the deal was worth $10 million annually; however, the development deal actually was for $3 million per annum. At the time of the announcement, Cruise and his advisers were considering Paramount's new offer of $2 million per year in development money when Redstone dropped his bombshell. The news gave rise to speculation that Paramount has run out of cash, as it reportedly has told other development partners with which it has deals to use their own cash for the rest of the year, with the proviso they will be reimbursed come 2007.
Was originally a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice before he left to join his father's theater chain, which evolved into National Amusements, the present-day parent holding company of Viacom.
Was recruited by Edwin O. Reischauer (a Harvard professor and future U.S. Ambassador to Japan) while an undergraduate student at Harvard University to decode Japanese codes during World War II.
He left Harvard University after only barely completing three years of study when he was recruited by Professor Edwin O. Reischauer (later a U.S. Ambassador to Japan) to decode messages of the Japanese during World War II. When he finished his tenure with the United States Army, the Harvard Corporation granted him his Bachelor's degree.
Has an autobiography, co-written with Peter Knobler, titled "A Passion to Win", ISBN 0684862247 (published by Simon & Schuster).
Originally attended Georgetown University Law School, but transferred to Harvard Law School and received his Bachelor of Laws degree from that institution.
Attended and graduated first in his class from the public prep school Boston Latin School (1940).
In 1979, he survived a Boston hotel fire with burns over half his body by clinging to a third-floor window with his severely burned right hand until firefighters could reach him. His right arm hangs loosely, and the hand is gnarled with purplish skin.
Received his Bachelor of Arts degree (1944) and his Bachelor of Laws degree (1947) from Harvard University.
Has two children: Brent Dale Redstone and Shari Ellin Redstone.
Chairman of CBS Corporation and Viacom.
He owns the Showcase Cinemas theater chain.
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