Marvin Josephson, who helped develop a small management company that could not afford a secretary in an international entertainment company with multiple offices, died in Los Angeles on May 17. He was 95 and no reason was given for the announcement.
Josephson was born on March 6, 1927, to immigrant parents in Atlantic City, NJ. After graduating from Atlantic City High School, he joined the U.S. Navy just before the end of World War II. After the Navy, he joined Cornell University, where he earned a BA degree.
He attended night law school at New York University School of Law and received his law degree in 1952. That same year, Josephson got a job at CBS Law. He left CBS to start his own company and was the only employee, since he could not afford a secretary.
The new company was started on April 1, 1955 as a private management company. The first important client was Bob Kishan, who produced and starred in the CBS children’s program “Captain Kangaroo” for 29 years. That program was aired in October 1955. The night before Thanksgiving, Captain Kangaroo had his own float at the 1955 Bamburgers Thanksgiving Parade. Bambergers was a department store in Newark, NJ
In the Greenroom, Josephson met Charles Collingwood, a CBS commentator who was doing colorful commentary for the parade, which aired on CBS. It was the beginning of Josephsson’s pioneering presentation of television news personalities and news producers, and the beginning of the transformation of personal management into a talent company.
Representative news commentators and producers included Chet Huntley, Peter Jennings, Frank McGee, Don Hewitt, and Reuven Frank. Later, Josephson personally represented Barbara Walters.
In the late 50’s and early 60’s, the agency grew with the addition of agents and clients, including the recruitment of Lynn Nesbitt to start a literary company in the genre. In the mid-60s, Josephson merged his company with the LA-based Rosenberg Correal, which, among others, represented Bing Crosby and James Garner.
Josephson later bought his California partners and the company was operated under the name Marvin Josephson Associates (MJA). When the MCA goes out of the talent agency business, the company continues to grow by hiring agents from the MCA. It then took its biggest step in 1968 when it acquired the Ashley Famous Agency from a company controlled by Steve Ross. Warner Bros. decided to buy and had to sell the talent agency Ashley-Famous Agency because of union rules. The value was $ 10 million, all of which had to be cash.
Josephson found two insurance companies that had invested 4 million and lent the remaining $ 6 million to Chase Manhattan, which required Chase loan is a personal guarantee. Since Ted Ashley was not part of the deal (he was going to run Warner Bros.) the joint venture was renamed the International Famous Agency (IFA), but the main IFA-owned company continued to be called MJA.
MJA became public in 1971 under the name MJA, which later became Josephson International, Inc. (JII).
The company continues to expand through internal growth and small acquisitions, including Chasin Park Citron, a prominent Hollywood boutique of former MCA top agents. In 1975, MJA acquired Creative Management Associates (CMA), which was previously digested by GAC. CMAO was a public company and was led by Freddie Fields, who decided he wanted to leave the agency business and become a movie producer.
The deal was a cash purchase, but Freddie was sensitive to the use of the word “sell” and called it a cash merger in a press release. The CMA was stronger than the IFA in motion pictures, but in other cases the IFA was stronger in television and publishing. Josephson Parent was chairman and CEO of a public company and chairman and CEO of Combined Talent Agency, renamed International Creative Management (ICM).
Since 1975, the company has grown into a powerhouse operation with offices in Los Angeles, New York and London. The company also established a separate classical music branch called ICM Artists, which represents people such as Yo Yo Ma, Itzak Parliament, and Isaac Stern, among many other top classical artists and conductors.
During this time, Josephsson personally represented a select group of clients, including Henry Kissinger, who left office as Secretary of State. Steve McQueen, General Norman Schwarzkopf, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and General Colin Powell were among the other clients who personally represented Josephson. Josephson It also led the effort to sign the organizing committee for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where the ICM Committee represented the sale of television rights to ABC.
In 1988, Josephsson led the effort to privatize JII. Again, Chase Manhattan lent 88% of the 72 72 million requirement and Josephson lent 12%. This time there was no personal guarantee. When it becomes personal, Josephson promises Jeff Berg, Sam Cohen and Jim Witt, all key ICM agents and executives that he will give the three of them a chance to run ICM within five years.
In 1992, Josephsson kept his promise and the day-to-day control of ICM passed to Messrs. Berg, Cohen and White, while Josephsson was active behind the scenes and continued to represent individual clients. In 2005, the company was sold to Suhail Rizvi, a private investor.
Steve McQueen introduced Josephine to karate, saying that he would remember her for so long even after forgetting the commission he had earned. Josephson went on to earn a 4M Degree Black Belt in Tang Su Do, and later received Israeli martial arts, Krav Maga, where he was awarded the honorary 4M Degree rank and became a YouTube star 82 years agond Birthday
Josephsson has been actively involved with Israel for most of his life and has served as chairman of the American charity Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces for more than 11 years. He has also served on the board of the International Rescue Committee and has conducted several rescue operations in Ethiopia, Bosnia and Iraq to assist in the resettlement of refugees.
He is survived by his wife, actor / director / producer Tina Chen; Five children, Celia, Claire and Nancy Josephson, and Ealing and Eipei Chen-Josephson; 16 grandchildren; Two grandchildren; And his brother Jack Josephson. He was preceded in death by his son, Joe Josephson.
The family says that instead of flowers, donations will be sent to North American Jewish federations to support Ukrainian families.